As a multi-billion dollar industry, college and professional sports have become more than just a hobby to many Americans but an actual destination. As thousands of people pour into stadiums around the country each week, most don’t realize the cost of maintaining such a high-profile industry. Operational costs range well into the tens of thousands each day just to provide a well-lit facility. Recently, many professional and college organizations have made the leap into the LED lighting family as a means to try and trim their operating budgets.
Large Stadiums Switch to Energy Efficient Lighting
Millions of halide lights have been the source of lighting for professional and college sport stadiums and facilities around the country for decades. As the sports industry has grown virtually overnight, so has the budget necessary to operate this massive industry.
Dedicated sports fan and network companies have been concerned that the lighting change would affect broadcasting clarity for television networks, while others were skeptical of the financial advantage of switching to LED lights with such as large initial investment. Among the first was Ohio University, which replaced nearly 1,155 incandescent and halide lights in their multi-purpose sports arena with LED lighting. Because energy consumption was reduced, they saw light levels increase 10% on their court, making activities easier to view. As more professional and college sports organizations like this around the country begin to adopt LED lighting, more people are realizing not only the long-term economic return but the benefits it has on overall atmosphere for fans.
Among the first to adopt the green energy in the professional realm were the Houston Texans and the Arizona Cardinals. In addition, there have also been several different colleges and universities such as Notre Dame and Arizona that have made the switch in their stadiums, recreational facilities and around their campus grounds. Even with the large, initial investment needed to transition traditional lights to energy-efficient LED lights, both professional teams expect to see a quick return on their investment and large reduction in long-term operating costs. While LED lights require significantly less energy to run compared to traditional lighting solutions, these organizations expect to see a savings of up to 60% on their lighting costs.
As we begin to see more professional and college sports organizations adopt LED lighting solutions for their facilities, there is still plenty of opportunity to make our love for professional and college sports a greener activity.