To many Americans out there between the months of August and February, Sundays, the occasional Monday and Thursday night are looked upon as sacred holidays. Millions leave their homes and flock to their respective team’s stadium to cheer them on in the hopes that they will win, bringing their team just one step closer to the Lombardi trophy in early February. Last year it was the New York Giants, this year, it is very much up in the air.
Currently, our local team, the Washington Redskins are causing a lot of buzz around the league. Robert Griffin the Third, commonly known as RGIII is bringing leading the team to new heights, a major contender for rookie of the year and he could lead the team to their first playoff birth in over 6 years.
However RGIII is not the only thing that is making the Redskins future look a lot greener. Earlier in 2011, the Redskins Organization teamed up with NRG Energy Company, an American Energy company based in New Jersey to unveil the largest solar installation at a Pro Football Stadium, Installing 8,285 solar panels, generating nearly 2 megawatts of energy (enough to power 300 metropolitan DC homes). This partnership would be monumental as the Redskins would be the first professional Football team to partner with NRG and carry their name in sponsorship. As over one year has passed, the team is able to see tangible returns besides the outpouring of support from the Redskins community.
With the installation of the solar elements at Fedex Field, approximately 25% of the energy used on game day and 90-100% of the energy of non-game days is covered. In the typical regular season, teams can have anywhere between 8-10 home games, potentially 12 if the team locks up home field advantage in the playoffs. With this, the average NFL team is not utilizing their stadium somewhere between 352-355 out of 365 days a year. By installing their solar energy system, the Redskins have maximized their efficiency at Fedex Field and have thus been able to see economic returns as their stadium sits dormant. Last year the Solar energy system generated nearly $390,000 worth of energy while the Stadium only required approximately $290,000 of energy, bringing the Redskins $100,000 of capital gain (coverted on green energy calculator).
Since the Redskins took part in this project with NRG, five additional NFL teams have announced partnerships with NRG. These teams include the New York Giants and Jets at Met Life Stadium, the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium and the new San Francisco 49ers Stadium.
These are just six of 32 potential NFL teams taking the strides to “trend green” as Redskins VP of Marketing Rod Nenner told us. When asked if this was the pinnacle of the Redskins investment in trending green he answered with a definitive no, this is just the beginning. Just imagine if this trend extended to the other 80% of the league? More money AND cleaning up the planet, it begs the question WHY NOT?! The NFL’s future is starting to look a lot greener and for our sake, lets hope the Redskins does on the field as well!
NFL time to #THINKFWD
-Casey W. Wood