Levi's Stadium

Field Goal: A New
Sustainability Standard

A sea of red and gold spreads out through the streets. Throngs of face-painted fans chant and sing. These are the sights and sounds of a hundred thousand people converging to a single destination to support their team. This is game day in the San Francisco Bay area.

These loyal fans hail from San Francisco Bay area communities where technological innovation and sustainability are a way of life. Here, businesses of all sizes are expected to put the environment and the community first. The residents demand it. Fan Roger Sippl echoes the community sentiment: "I think any developer has a responsibility to make their buildings as energy efficient as possible. I'd be disappointed if someone put up a big project like this and it didn't have reduced carbon emissions as a goal."

When plans were announced for a new professional football stadium in the Bay Area, expectations were high. And in 2014, the San Francisco fans welcomed Levi's Stadium® –  one of the most sustainable stadiums in the U.S.

Watch the Levi's Stadium Solar Array Installation in 65 Seconds:

A Season's Worth
of Solar Self-Sufficiency

Levi's Stadium includes more sustainability features than any comparable facility in the country. 49 solar arrays, installed and operated by NRG, were integrated early on in the design process. This extensive set of solar arrays generates enough power over the course of a year to supply the energy needed for every single home game—the lights, the concessions, the screens, all of it.

Al Guido, team COO, talked about the challenges of building a facility where users expect technology and sustainability to be at the core of the operation:

"It's a movement across the country—become more sustainable. And stadiums have to do their part. But we wanted to be functionally green, not just green for green's sake."

-Al Guido, C.O.O. of the San Francisco 49ers

That's why at Levi's Stadium, sustainability means a lot more than solar:

Food Service

Hungry fans love the local and
sustainably produced meal options.

Water Recycling

Wastewater is reclaimed and reused to
water the green roof and grass field.

Public Transit

With light and heavy rail stations, fans
can leave their cars at home.

NRG EVgo® Charging Stations

EV drivers can use stations powered by
NRG EVgo to top up their batteries during
the game.

Proud that the sustainability features have been integrated inconspicuously, Guido adds, "you don't often see it, which I think is nice. Whether it's the field irrigated with recycled water, or the reclaimed wood in the suites, or the solar panels, or the infrastructure around the building that has public transit. I think all those things go into the sustainable story. And I think our fans really enjoy those."

New Thinking About Energy

Robert Gaudette, Senior Vice President of NRG Business Solutions, credits team executives with recognizing the high expectations associated with a project of this scale in a community that demands technological innovation and environmental responsibility. He notes, "The stadium is located right in the heart of technology. It's also the center of the newest kind of thinking about what energy is."

"One of the focuses was, let's ensure that it's really a technology driven stadium. Let's adopt what really makes Silicon Valley great."

-Dan Williams, Former Vice President of Technology for the San Francisco 49ers

As the largest public venue in the heart of Silicon Valley, Levi's Stadium uses innovative technology to enhance the fan experience:

Technology Features

  • In-event closed-captioning via mobile web
  • Electric vehicle charging stations, powered by NRG EVgo
  • State-of-the-art fan WiFi with one access point for every 100 seats
  • 40GB-per-second internet capacity, a first for a U.S. stadium
  • A dedicated mobile app that helps fans with parking, ticketing and food service

Levi's Stadium has set a new standard. It's the first U.S. facility of its kind to open with full Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification.

Fans Tell Us the Score

So do fans see Levi's Stadium as a winning drive, or a fumble? For fan Doug Wilson, it's definitely the former. "It's a fantastic stadium," he says. "We're known for technology and sustainability so it fits in well here. It's good to be a leader in this. It looks good for the Bay Area." Wilson adds that it's not just local football fans who have noticed. "Even my mom and my sisters know about the stadium and how green it is."

"I think that this will set the standard, it's up to us to show the country that we need this kind of technology."

-Ken Spalasso, football fan

One football fan who truly embodies the Bay Area attitude is Juan Garcia, who uses a portable solar cell to power his tailgating toys. A loyal fan, Garcia offered perhaps the most fitting observation:

"This is such a nice place to watch a game. I have kids and my kids are going to have kids. It's nice to know that efforts are being made to not make such a mess of the earth."

-Juan Garcia, football fan

Building the Dream

Get an inside view of Levi's Stadium from team officials and NRG's experts.

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