The Minnesota Vikings stadium stands to be the first stadium in the United States to illuminate its fields with LED installed during construction. With lower energy needs than traditional lighting and color-tuning technology, LED saves sports venues and other facilities significant amounts of money while providing more effective lighting.
The lighting has become a common feature of ice rinks in the American Hockey League, and tennis, basketball, and soccer facilities have long made use of it. But venues in the National Football League have been slow to embrace it. So far, two NFL stadiums have converted to LED — the University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the Arizona Cardinals, and the NRG Stadium, home to the Houston Texans. The Minnesota venue will be the first to incorporate LED from inception.
“There are many potential advantages to lighting a sports venue with LED,” says Eric Willin, Chief Operating Officer, of EZFacility, a sports facility management software developer in Woodbury, New York. “On a basic level, spectators often can just see better what’s happening on the field. In addition, LED lights have more functions than older lights—they can be programmed for specific effects throughout a game. But most of all, LED lighting consumes 75 to 90 percent less energy than traditional lighting systems. That’s good for the environment and translates into enormous cost savings.”
Viking officials have said that part of their goal during the $1.1 billion project has been making environmentally friendly choices. Currently in the planning phase, the stadium is slated for completion in July 2016.