In 2008, fans of the Washington Nationals were able to spend opening day of the new baseball season in the first LEED certified Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium in the nation. Nationals Park earned LEED for New Construction Silver certification on March 3, 2008, just in time for the 2008 season.
The eco friendly construction process and stadium design elements have allowed the stadium to achieve a 30 percent reduction in overall water consumption and a 21 percent energy savings in field lighting. In order to achieve these consumption reductions, the stadium uses low flow plumbing fixtures, energy efficient lighting, recycled content and regionally sourced materials when available. The roof of Nationals Park uses a reflective coating but also has a green roof covering the concession and restroom areas.
Although Nationals Park was the first MLB park to receive LEED certification, other league franchises are working to join them. The Miami Marlins Ballpark in Miami Gardens, Florida is a LEED for New Construction 2.2 registered project. The facility, which is scheduled to open in time for the 2012 baseball season, is on track to receive LEED Silver certification.
The Minnesota Twins will be playing their first official game in their new stadium, Target Field, next Monday. Target Field isn’t yet LEED certified but the stadium was built with LEED certification in mind. The Minnesota Ballpark Authority and the Twins organization have plans to apply for LEED certification. Perhaps the process will be completed before opening day 2011.