Supplement Feature - July 2009
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Stadium Solutions

An Inside Look at Outdoor Sports

By Richard Zowie

While the Cowboys' colors are blue and silver, the stadium has a green look. That's because the Cowboys also plan on the stadium being the first sports stadium to gain recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Performance Track Program. Specifically, this means the Cowboys have worked closely with architect HKS Sports & Entertainment Group and others during the design, construction and operational initiative process to reduce the facility's carbon footprint.

"The challenge lies in capturing performance and cost savings, ensuring initiatives are effective, and always raising the bar," said Jack Hill, the Cowboys Stadium general manager. "The EPA's NEPT program gives us a framework to get it done. The Cowboys want to go beyond all the 'green' hype to set goals, deliver on those goals, and be accountable to our fans and public."

This means reducing energy consumption, recycling solid waste (which, in turn, eases strain on local landfills) and conserving water.

"We explored various opportunities," said Daniels. "From a green standpoint, we saw this and it made sense since we're not just about building [the new stadium] but sustaining it and meeting criteria. We just want to be environmentally conscious in construction and operations. Anything we can do as an organization to help in a positive way by doing things the right way."

Daniels noted it was critical to begin the green process at the design stage. This allowed them to use the latest technology, building materials and best practices in the construction and stadium business. By doing this, it made for a much smoother process.

"You continue to do what you can, not just for today, and improve upon it and educate staff and fans in doing things in an environmentally-friendly way," Daniels added.

The fans are bound to notice the stadium's "greenness" right away, especially during night games. Daniels said the new lights operate on motion sensors and about half can turn off if not needed.

Besides being green-friendly, the new stadium's other features are sure to be groundbreaking. The scoreboard, at 160 feet by 72 feet, is the largest in the world, Daniels said.

It'll also be the first center-hung scoreboard in the NFL, hovering 90 feet over the field.

Daniels added there's no threat in the scoreboard getting hit by a punt.

"We tested it with a punter," he explained. "[Punters] normally aim at sidelines instead of right down the middle (where the scoreboard will be)."

The Cowboys' new stadium saw its first action June 6 for a George Strait concert.