MetLife Stadium is a very light show at night, when the top of the stadium changes from green to blue and vice versa. So what dictates the change in colors and why is it so important for the NFL? First, the color change is representative of the two teams that MetLife Stadium serves as a joint venture: green for the New York Jets and blue for the New York Giants.
In addition to the light exhibition at each home game, there is something else that makes MetLife Stadium special. Powering those green and blue lights, which change depending on which team is playing, power for part of the stadium lights comes from solar energy. The company that is currently working its magic for the NFL is called NRG Energy, which is described as a traditional energy company with a twist. In addition to supplying energy by coal-fired furnaces, the company has jumped on the solar energy bandwagon to cut down on greenhouse gases.
Here are a few of the company’s current projects for the NFL:
- San Francisco 49ers are planning a solar installation for the team’s newest stadium being built in Santa Clara, California.
- The company has installed solar panels for the Washington Redskins’ stadium.
- The New England Patriots’ home at Gillette Stadium uses solar panels to provide energy and shade.
- The Philadelphia Eagles will have a solar-powered display for their fans to enjoy.
What is very odd is that this Texas-based company provides no solar power to its own state’s NFL teams. Neither the Dallas Cowboys nor the Texas Texans use solar for any of their displays or other home stadium features. NRG Energy believes it is the state of Texas’ inexpensive energy costs that keep solar behind the scenes. I am sure that those who live in Texas don’t believe their rates are inexpensive, but compared to the cost of energy on both coasts, energy prices are lower in the Lone Star state.
What makes the installation of these solar panels so important is that it sends a valuable message to the American people. The visible use of alternative energy by a name as big as the NFL shows that it is viable on a large scale, and it can make a difference in our consumption of more traditional fossil fuels. There is also the PR aspect for the NFL. I am sure that it doesn’t hurt the NFL to portray itself as a good, green neighbor and an energy-wise partner to the public. The New England Patriots are using water from a nearby creek to water the grounds and grass, adding to their green appearance in public. In addition, the New England Patriots are considering adding a wind turbine to the landscape. Imagine seeing this on Monday night football in the background while watching Tom Brady throwing touchdowns.
This is the future of the NFL: a future that I totally support. I hope that more of the other NFL teams in the league will take notice and jump on the alternative energy bandwagon.
Source: Popular Mechanics