We are not the biggest sports fans here at The Daily Green. Some might say that yesterday during the NCAA championship game we were rooting for Michigan State just because its uniforms are green. So, we were naturally a bit sad when they lost to UNC. Fortunately, it's a big week for green as in eco in sports news: two national arenas received LEED certification.
On Monday both the the NBA's Miami Heat and the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers announced that their arenas had received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena and Atlanta's Philips Arena are the first two arenas in the country to receive this distinction. In Miami the focus was on cooling the arena in the most efficient ways, such as using green roofing materials and underground parking. At Philips Arena, which is also home to NBA's Atlanta Hawks, the water conservation practices that are essential to LEED certification were vitally important to this drought-prone area.
In this tough economic time when going green can feel like less of a priority to some than bolstering the economy, USGBC President, CEO and Founding Chairman Rick Fedrizzi said, "LEED-certified green buildings create much-needed green jobs and have a positive impact on their communities especially when that building is visited by thousands of sports fans and entertainment lovers every year.
In true sports fashion this is not just a LEED certification, it's also a challenge; both the Heat and the Thrashers hope that other teams will step up to the plate (or in this case rink and court) and green their own arenas.
For more green sports news take a look at PlayItGreen.com .
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