According to team sources the Carolina Panthers will be the first team in the NFL to be LEED Certified in a ceremony to take place at Bank of America Stadium shortly before the beginning of the 2012 season. LEED stands for 'Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design' and is awarded to organizations that make a commitment to reduce their carbon footprint, and help the environment.
At first I was rather confused by the award, because I didn't know how a football team could reduce their carbon footprint. After a couple of unanswered calls I received an email from Douglas Cove- new director of environmental impact for the Panthers:
"The decision to go green was an easy one. Mr. Richardson is devoted to the environment, and wants his team to lead the charge in the NFL through his initiatives. At first glance they may seem unconventional, but we feel the Carolina Panthers will become a shining example for sustainability in the National Football League."
One of the first changes you'll notice in 2013 is the advertising in the stadium, of which many of the placards and marquees will be devoted to environmentally friendly companies, and PETA. This wont likely generate as much income for the team, but they have plans to generate revenue in other areas. We'll look at those...
After the jump
"Inspired by the NFL's 'Play 60' campaign we've decided to install exercise bikes in the 210 section of the upper concourse. These bikes will enable fans to stay fit during the game, and as an added bonus the electricity generated by their peddling will help power lighting around the stadium."
If nothing else I'll say this way of thinking is pretty forward thinking. Personally, I wouldn't like to pay the money to get inside the stadium only to sit on a bike, but I suppose if the prices were discounted on these tickets I could be swayed.
"It's not all going to be easy though. Unlike the rest of the teams we wont be flying to away games, instead we'll use two bio-diesel buses fueled by grease from area Bojangles restaurants. While this will increase the amount of time it takes to get to games, we think the end result is worth it."
I understand Cove was using this as his big pitch for the neccesity of the new 'green' Panthers, but he did tip his hand at some draft information if you read between the lines.
"Do you have any idea how much fuel and energy is wasted by shuttling prospects across country? We had an independent survey done and we were shocked. As such Mr. Hurney has agreed that all of the players drafted this year will be in the 150 mile radius from Charlotte to ensure we limit the amount of fossil fuel used."
I don't know about you but this really shocked me. What prospects of note are within a 150 mile radius? Coples, Ingram... I can't really think of anyone else. This is going to be very interesting to see how the Panthers pull all this off.