Atlanta officials expect more than 150,000 out-of-town guests for the Super Bowl this weekend and more than one million people – residents and visitors – are expected to attend several Super Bowl events over the next few days.
The city is asking people to not drive to the Mercedes Stadium, this year’s site for the Super Bowl, and the host of these related events. The city is already known for its congested highways and byways, and the Super Bowl is likely to increase that congestion considerably.
However, one thing Atlanta officials will not be as concerned about this weekend is water. Most professional sports stadiums such as this use hundreds of thousands of gallons of water annually consumed by sports fans, players, staff, and used for irrigation.
These numbers increase significantly on special events, such as the Super Bowl. However, what makes Mercedes Stadium different and why water is less of a concern is the following:
• Restrooms have high-efficiency toilets installed that use far less water than traditional toilets.
• Waterless urinals, manufactured by Waterless Co., were selected for all the men’s restrooms. Each urinal can save thousands of gallons of water per year.
• Xeriscape landscaping was installed; this means vegetation that is naturally grown in the Atlanta area was used for landscaping. In most cases, these are drought-resistant plants that use far less water than plants brought in from other parts of the country
• Mechanicals such as boilers, cooling and heating systems were all selected because they use water more efficiently than comparable systems
• A 680,000-gallon cistern has been installed to collect rainwater, which can then be used for cooling the facility or irrigation.
Water efficiency not the only sustainable initiative at the stadium
Overall, the Atlanta stadium is expected to use 47% less water than a comparably-sized stadium. But water efficiency is not the only sustainable initiative at the stadium. Other features include the following:
• Overall, the stadium should use about 30% less energy than a similar sized facility
• More than 4,000 solar panels are installed, which will generate around 1.6 million kilowatt hours per year of renewable energy
• Electric charging stations are available in parking lots
• On-site edible landscaping has also been planted
"Edible landscaping refers to the growing of food-producing plants around the stadium," says Klaus Reichardt, CEO and Founder of Waterless Co. "It's an example of how the Mercedes Stadium not only adopted initiatives to reduce consumption and promote sustainability but give back to the local community."