Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eagles Greenwash Lincoln Financial Field

From a publicity (or any) standpoint, this has been a historic week for the Philadelphia Eagles. Sunday's rout of the Washington Redskins with its surrealistic first quarter and now an announcement that the team will invest $30 Million Dollars towards making Lincoln Financial Field the greenest sports stadium in the world by installing wind turbines, solar panels providing 30% of the power coupled with a cogenerating power plant running on biodiesel and natural gas providing 70% of the power. The Eagles estimate that the greenhouse gas reduction will be the equivalent of taking 41,000 cars of the road annually.

Is this truly sustainable? The paradox of wind turbines and massive parking fields.

But we're throwing down a flag on the play because the Eagles Go Green program continues to ignore transportation. The most direct emissions that are generated from a Sunday home game are from the 25,000 motor vehicles that fill the 250 acres of hard surfaced parking surrounding the sports complex. A back of the envelope calculation (25K cars x 20 mi. round trip x 1.1 lbs. of CO2 per mi.) equals 550,000 pounds of CO2 per game. Furthermore even the global warming deniers won't argue the health hazards of Carbon Monoxide, NOx and Particulate Matter.

For a fraction of the money spent on the power generation project, the Eagles can take the next step and reduce the number of vehicle trips to the game.
  • Broad Street Subway riders have to walk nearly a half mile to get to the stadium. Making that access easier via a more direct walkway, shuttle trams and pedicabs could build upon the 8,000 riders that already use the subway.
  • Express bus service from the suburbs, New Jersey and Delaware could take hundreds of more fans looking to avoid the congestion, tolls and parking fees.
  • South Philly has thousands of transportation cyclists. Adding bike parking should be a no brainer-We're at week 10 of the season and the bicycling is fine. An expansion to 18 games would mean that football season would start in August. There are currently zero (0) bike racks at the stadium. Any bike parking at all would be an improvement. Valet bike parking and setting up a safe bike access route with orange cones could make a serious dent in the number of people on bikes attending the game.
Update - It has also been brought to my attention that Pedicabs are still banned from operating within the Stadium Special Services District. That's just greenwash.


Anonymous said...

Great ideas! Will there be a letter/petition we can sign?

Anonymous said...

Instead of waiting for the Eagles to implement an alternate transportation solution how about working with them to create an option that the Eagles can tie into a marketing plan? A plan that will allow them to beta test options.

One existing example that works is already being done by the Denver Bronco’s with the help of local bicycling organizations.

I’m sure if you contacted the organizations who worked on this in Denver they would help you create a similar event in Philadelphia.

barryg said...

I don't see why this is an either/or situation. The fact they are not addressing transporting (which, I agree, can be improved) doesn't mean the plan is bad or "greenwashing."

The reason they are focusing on this is that it will save the Eagles organization significant money on energy. But this is a good thing--the fact that "going green" is economically viable means that sustainable energy's time has arrived.

The transportation issue is trickier because the Eagles make money on parking. More visitors taking public transit means lost revenue for the team. There's no excuse for the lack of bicycle parking, though.

Andrew J. Besold said...

It also makes financial sense to address transportation too in a Greening Plan! Imagine if so many people took other forms of transportation to the games that there wasn't a need for all that parking? The real-estate all those empty parking spaces occupy could be sold off or developed into something more profitable like offices, housing or retail.

Paul said...

About a year ago I wrote a quick email to the Linc asking where the bike racks are located (I thought there would be at least a couple that I did not not know about)... I actually was not expecting to get a response but I did receive one a few hours later...

Hi Paul,

Unfortunaetly, we do not have bike racks at Lincoln Financial Field. I'll make sure to pass on to the appropriate department the request for some.

Go Eagles!