Prospectus has an interesting article today about how GABP is one of the most advanced ballparks in baseball, from an environmental technology perspective. (I believe it’s behind the subscriber firewall). The article credits Declan Mullin, the team’s vice president of ballpark operations, with implementing a variety of measures to improve efficiency and run a more environment-friendly ballpark.
The Reds use high-efficiency lighting, and a heating/cooling system that transfer power to areas of greatest need. They are purchasing carbon credits to neutralize the pollution effects of ballgames at GABP (so far, they’ve only purchased the credits on Opening Day and Earth Day). They’re also looking in to buying renewable energy produced in Ohio, through Duke Energy.
“We had asked [Duke Energy] if we could purchase green energy, and now we can,” Mullin said. “Our program concentrates on Ohio sources of renewable energy, which should provide additional encouragement for their development here, while giving our environmentally conscious customers an additional option for their electric service,” Duke Energy president Sandra Meyer said in a statement.
The higher price of renewable energy is the major reason many teams have resisted greening their operations. Mullin maintains, however, that teams who own and operate their stadiums can improve their profit margins by going green. They just have to be willing to spend more in the short term. “It’s easier to implement these measures when it’s first-cost,” Mullin said. “It might be a little expensive at first, but the team will reap the benefits of the savings in the long run. To retrofit a ballpark with green provisions will cost more, and that’s the drawback.” Mullin added that the Reds enjoyed an immediate financial boon from their green measures. “Our utility bills are about 29 percent lower than a team operating a similar facility without these measures in place,” Mullin said.
The Reds also have an extensive recycling program, but are having trouble getting fans to take public transit to the park.
The state-of-the-art power efficiency system the Reds have implemented at Great American Ballpark is a model for teams constructing new stadiums. While there are some facets of green operations in which the Reds are lacking, overall the team should be commended for the innovative steps it has taken to reduce its emissions and promote a message of public service to its fanbase.