DENVER, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Pepsi Center, Colorado's largest
indoor sports and entertainment venue, has become the first sports arena in
the United States to claim "100 percent Green" status, announcing it will
buy enough renewable energy to offset all electricity used at the arena.
Arena officials also announced a program to encourage fan involvement
in environmental issues, a package of improvements to the 9-year-old
facility, and the arena's involvement in the Environmental Protection
Agency's "Climate Leaders" program -- again, the first in the United States
by a sports arena.
"These are important firsts," said Dave Jolette, Kroenke Sports vice
president of venue operations. "Pepsi Center's involvement with 'Climate
Leaders' represents a commitment that we hope other arenas will follow."
The EPA's Climate Leaders program is an industry-government partnership
that works to inventory and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a
company-wide basis to develop comprehensive climate change strategies.
"In the area of fan involvement, we think 'Play Clean' also could be an
industry leader," Jolette continued. "The 100 percent Green status we've
achieved through the use of renewable energy certificates also is a big
"This program is more than enough to power a scoreboard or lighting
system. It is enough to cover all electricity used at Pepsi Center." The
renewable energy certificates are being purchased through an agreement with
Georgia-based Sterling Planet.
Recycling and Driver Initiatives
Pepsi Center will be the first major entertainment venue in Colorado to
provide single-stream recycling of plastic cups, all bottles and clean
paper products. The arena's "Play Clean" program will promote recycling
among the more than 2 million fans that attend events at the venue and will
seek the promotional assistance of the sports and entertainment stars
playing at the arena. An estimated 20,000 pounds of recyclable material
will be recycled at Pepsi Center annually, enough to reduce carbon dioxide
emissions by 193 metric tons and enough to power 23.2 American homes each
The recycling effort begins with this week's NCAA basketball
tournament. Fans also may now use new hybrid-only spaces in the arena's
parking lots. The arena also is promoting a new, voluntary "No Idling Zone"
for cars in front of the building's box office.
"We'll be promoting the Play Clean message with each of our teams,
using athletes and personnel in videos and public service announcements,"
Kroenke Sports executive vice president Paul Andrews said. "Our goal is to
be among the most aggressive teams in our leagues when it comes to
protecting the environment."
The 19,000-seat Pepsi Center is privately owned by Kroenke Sports
Enterprises (KSE) and is the home of the NBA Denver Nuggets, NHL Colorado
Avalanche, NLL Colorado Mammoth and AFL Colorado Crush. The arena hosts
more than 200 sporting events and concerts a year and is the site of the
2008 Democratic National Convention.
"A number of the artists who play at Pepsi Center now require certain
levels of green awareness as part of their contracts and we're glad Pepsi
Center will be among the nation's leaders in building that awareness,"
Jolette added. "We'll be asking their participation in promoting the Play
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and regional EPA administrator Robert E.
Roberts attended a Monday press conference at Pepsi Center and lauded
effort being put into the Play Clean program and building improvements.
Ritter noted the importance of a push by business to control climate
"It's the right thing to talk about," the Governor said. "People look
at this as an economic development opportunity and realize that a
significant challenge is transformed into an opportunity.
"We can make that statement, that when we change the way we consume
energy, we do it on behalf of the planet, the state, the region and our
Pepsi Center Modifications
Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl also addressed the press
conference, telling the crowd the Nuggets look forward to promoting Play
"Taking care of the environment is a new adventure in our country,"
Karl said. "It will bring everybody together because everybody has a fear
that we are destroying our own environment. Colorado is an incredibly
beautiful state, and to take the lead in environmental process -- from fuel
to trash to lighting is a big step that I'm proud to be part of."
Other modifications to the arena are underway. Outdoor water features,
toilets and kitchen sprayers have been replaced to reduce water
consumption. Giant fans installed in the arena's ceiling are now
redirecting airflows. Mechanisms for recycling grease and cardboard have
been installed and 52 solar panels will soon provide electricity directly
to the arena's Blue Sky Grill.
"All of our teams and fans will be affected by the changes, even if
they don't know it," Jolette said. "Every effort helps and the scope of the
Play Clean program is still relatively small -- recycling, changing
fixtures and driver-oriented initiatives now. But these add up and we'll
soon include a number of new components that we believe fans want."
SOURCE Kroenke Sports Enterprises