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KU Basketball Season is in Full Swing. So Why am I Thinking About the 49er’s New LEED Certified Stadium?

This is the best time of the year for sports. March Madness is approaching and my Kansas Jayhawks are preparing for another run at the Big 12 Championship. Opening Day for the Kansas City Royals is a few months away and they are going to break 500 this year.*  The Kansas City Chiefs have the number one pick in the NFL draft and are sure to take the next Tom Brady.

Given all these great sports diversions, why am I thinking about San Francisco’s new stadium?  In short, because it sounds like a great place to watch a football game, but also because it will be one of the first NFL stadiums to achieve LEED Certification.

Now to be fair, the new stadium is not the first LEED certified stadium in the NFL. That honor belongs to the Chicago Bears. In 2011, the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field was awarded LEED–EB Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Soldier Field is the first existing NFL stadium to receive LEED certification but the 49ers’ new stadium will be the first LEED Certified stadium for “New Construction.”

A brief look at the 49ers website shows a live view of a stadium well under construction.

The stadium will have solar panels, green roof technology, access to nearby public transit, and several features necessary for it to achieve LEED certification.  The stadium’s solar array will have a total peak capacity of about 400kW and is projected to provide enough power over the course of a year to offset the power consumed at the stadium during the 49ers home games. As a result, the stadium will be the first professional sports venue in California to achieve net zero energy performance.

For me, the LEED certification and the sustainability features of the stadium are just a bonus for fans that are becoming used to seeing a winning product on the field.  Maybe the reason I am thinking about San Francisco’s new stadium is because I want my teams to embrace a culture of leading others with both stadium innovation and winning product on the field.

*Midwest Construction Law Blog readers are advised that my predictions are for entertainment purposes only and that they would be better off throwing their money into a flaming barbecue grill than betting on any of my so called “predictions”