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Dylan Gasperik’s Blog

L.A. Sports Teams Can Cash In By Being Green

Dylan Gasperik

Posted September 5, 2012

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(Source: flickr/abrowncoat)

2012 is a very exciting time to be a Los Angeles sports fan. The Kings are Stanley Cup holders for the first time in history. The Lakers just signed Dwight Howard and Steve Nash and look like they will continue contending for NBA titles through the end of the Kobe era and beyond. The Dodgers have a new ownership group that seems determined to make the franchise into the Yankees of the NL West, with no budget ceiling in sight as they go and get the talent they need to win a championship. Even the Clippers have put together a charismatic lineup that will contend in the playoffs and entertain with their special “Lob City” show.

There is added pressure for teams performing in a big market to make big money. In the sports operations department, this may mean signing big multi-year player contracts that may seem risky but are perceived by fans and management as investments in the teams’ future.

There are also safe investments that teams can make to improve their entertainment value and fan experience, save money on facility and operational costs, and make a positive impact in the community. There are a whole bunch of simple programs and systems that teams and their stadiums can implement to go green and save some too. A new NRDC report released today details case studies from around the country that show exactly how modern ballparks have embraced this strategy.

One more thing that should excite L.A. sports fans: for the first time in almost twenty years, an NFL football team may be an imminent reality. With it will come a new stadium, possibly downtown by the STAPLES center and its 1,727 panel solar array. Likewise, Dodgers Stadium is like a glamorous actress who grows more beautiful with age, but this is L.A., and I am sure that the new owners are thinking that the stadium could use a bit of a lift here, a bit of nip and tuck there. It cannot be understated how important it is for these new facilities to be built with the latest green techniques as a fundamental part of the design. The impact will ripple beyond the local resource savings. NRDC and the Green Sports Alliance have now provided a playbook.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit

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