Soccer is one of the most famous, beloved sports worldwide. The players are passionate and committed, and the fans are equally as enthusiastic and dedicated. Soccer’s international governing body, FIFA, has recently placed a great deal of importance on promoting sustainability among its teams and their home fields. If you are a soccer fan interested in how FIFA is setting out to save the world, read on to learn about some of the most eco-friendly, sustainable soccer stadiums in the world.
1. Morro da Mineira in Brazil
This stadium, serving over 200,000 inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, is the first-ever, player-powered soccer arena. Built in 2014, the Morro da Mineira boasts over 200 underground tiles, activated by the players’ movements on the pitch. These kinetic tiles convert the players’ activity into energy that powers the lights that illuminate the field.
From solar panels Greensboro NC to kinetic tiles in Rio de Janeiro, sustainability has come a long way. Opened by the famous Brazilian soccer professional Pele, the cost of the tiles totaled $100,000. Undoubtedly, he has seen incredible returns on his investment, generating free power for years to come. Bonus, fancy footwork is always encouraged to keep the lights burning bright!
2. Estádio Mineirão in Brazil
When preparing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Estadio Mineirão was desperate for a modern refresh. Considering the long, sunny days for which Brazil is famous, the Estadio Mineirão underwent a technological renovation and became the first Brazilian stadium with a solar-powered roof.
Not only does this feature power the soccer arena, but it generates enough energy to provide power to over 1,000 homes per year. When it comes to sustainability, this stadium scores the most goals of all!
3. The New Lawn Stadium in England
Built in 2006, the New Lawn Stadium is likely the most green, eco-friendly stadium worldwide. Not only does it draw energy from over 100 solar panels, but it also boasts organic grass and a robotic solar-powered lawnmower.
Because England receives so much rain, the pitch is able to receive its hydration via recycled rainwater. What’s more, the spectator snack bars stock only healthy, vegan foods and forbid any animal products from the grounds entirely. Commitment to sustainability is second to none at the New Lawn Stadium, as they are investing a whopping $145 million into a new super-stadium soon.
4. Princes Park in England
Princes Park boasts a unique feature, different from any soccer stadium across the globe. A living roof covers the stadium and features a thick, perennial plant covering, offering a natural air-filtration system for the arena’s inhabitants. Solar panels serve the stadium and neighboring residences, and rainwater is recycled to water the pitch.
As if these practices are not enough, the home club also prominently displays a wooden sculpture to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.
5. Amsterdam ArenA in The Netherlands
The largest stadium in Holland has a feature specific to it alone: It is climate neutral. By employing over 4,200 solar panels, making use of recycled rainwater, and utilizing clean heating sources, the Amsterdam ArenA has achieved complete energy-zen.
Additionally, a trademark in Dutch service, the stadium gets its power from strategically placed, energy-efficient windmills. Finally, it was the first arena to install sustainable seating for its patrons. Builders passed on plastic for a cleaner, more eco-friendly alternative, sugarcane!
6. Aviva Stadium in Ireland
This $464 million stadium is one of the most sustainable of them all. Fossil fuels and renewable energy sources power this beautiful arena that remains as green as its Irish surroundings. Committed to reducing its carbon footprint, Aviva Stadium decreased its spending by almost four million pounds per year. That figure is enough to operate a plane around the earth over 500 times.
Soccer’s commitment to global sustainability is as impressive as it is extensive. From living roofs to robotic lawnmowers, it is hard not to inquire what these eco-friendly engineers will think of next? If you are a soccer fan who also shares a deep appreciation for your environment, add a visit to one of these stadiums to your bucket list of adventures!