SBD/November 19, 2013/Facilities

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  • 49ers Pushing Energy Efficiency Of Levi's Stadium, But Skeptics Remain

    Levi's Stadium will have 1,162 solar panels atop its western roof

    While the 49ers are touting Levi's Stadium as "a model of ecological efficiency," how much of that is "eco-hype" depends on how you look at it, according to Paul Rogers of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Levi's Stadium Project Exec Jack Hill said, "It's not window dressing. This is real." He added that more than 75% of construction materials "are being recycled." Rogers noted the stadium is "located near light rail and other transit," and the team is "aiming to serve mostly locally produced food and plans to put sustainable bamboo woodwork in the luxury suites." The field's sprinklers will "spray recycled water when the stadium, now 70 percent complete, opens in August." But Deborah Bress, a spokesperson for Santa Clara Plays Fair, a group that opposed the project when voters approved it in '10, said, "The whole green thing is kind of a publicity campaign." Rogers noted while the 49ers are "installing LED bulbs" in 40% of the stadium lighting, team officials "canceled plans to put the high-efficiency bulbs in the huge field lights because of concerns from broadcasters that the technology might alter the color of the players' uniforms on TV." Also, the 1,162 solar panels installed on the western roof of the stadium "won't provide anywhere near enough electricity to satisfy the stadium's needs on game days," and the "vast majority of electricity will come from a utility." The team "hasn't said yet whether it will buy 'green power' generated by wind and solar energy." But 49ers officials "emphasize that their stadium will be a 'net zero' energy user." Team CEO Jed York has said that he "wants the building to be the first NFL stadium to achieve gold status from the U.S. Green Building Council" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/18).

    LEEDING THE PACK
    : In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow cited a source as saying that M&T Bank Stadium has "received a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council," making it the "first NFL stadium to earn the recognition." The announcement will be made today by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Ravens President Dick Cass. Gold is the "second-highest rating a building can earn, after platinum." Lincoln Financial Field "recently earned LEED Silver status" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/18).

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  • UNC Weighing Major Renovations To Smith Center, With New Arena An Option

    Any Smith Center renovations would not interfere with basketball season

    Univ. of North Carolina AD Bubba Cunningham said that school officials have been "engaged in more serious discussions about major renovations to the Smith Center, and the university is considering the possibility of building a new men's basketball arena," according to Andrew Carter of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. Cunningham said, "I think you have to look at both." He added that UNC has "shared the most significant discussions" with 360 Architecture. Cunningham said that the discussions have been "preliminary in nature and the first step is for UNC to receive conceptual designs before determining economic feasibility." If the Smith Center is renovated, the "primary purpose would be to add what Cunningham has described as 'revenue generators,' which would most likely include luxury suites, club seating or a combination of both." But Cunningham said that he "doesn't have a concrete vision of what a renovated Smith Center might look like." Carter notes the challenge of renovating the Smith Center "would be multifaceted." The "most significant question is how luxury seating would fit into the building, and what would constitute that luxury seating." Cunningham said that any Smith Center renovations "would not interfere" with basketball season and that the team "wouldn't temporarily play in another arena." Cunningham said that regardless of what UNC decides, funding for the project "will come from donations and athletic department revenue" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 11/19). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Don Muret first reported on UNC's process in May.

    NOT-SO-MAGIC MARKER: In Chicago, Teddy Greenstein reported the "much-ridiculed purple-stained basketball court" at Northwestern Univ. "will be scrapped after the season." The move is "just one of the enhancements Northwestern officials hope to have in place for next season." The other two are a "new video scoreboard to replace the outdated current model and purple-cushioned chair-backs to replace the bench seating on the side of the court behind the benches." School officials "have yet to finalize funding for the improvements." The new court "likely will have darker purple and a block N, rather than the N logo with a wildcat head." There are "no current plans to renovate the concourses, bathrooms and concessions" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/17).

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