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New York City Football Club to Build the First-Ever Fully Electric Soccer Stadium in Major League Soccer

November 16 2023 - News Release News Editorial

New York City Football Club revealed extensive sustainability plans at a local community board meeting in Queens for the Club’s proposed new soccer stadium in Willets Point. The 25,000-seat stadium would become the first fully electric stadium in Major League Soccer, in addition to being the first fully electric professional sports stadium in New York City.

New York City Football Club to Build the First-Ever Fully Electric Soccer Stadium in Major League Soccer

Details of NYCFC’s sustainability plan come as the stadium, which is part of the Willets Point Phase 2 project, formally enters the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) this week.

In addition to a fully electric stadium which will be privately financed, the Willets Point development project would also deliver a total of 2,500 units of 100% affordable housing at the site, as well as a 650-seat public school, 40,000 square feet of new public open space, retail space and a 250-key hotel.

As part of NYCFC’s sustainability plan, the design and building of the stadium will focus on the following:

Renewable Energy

The stadium will be all-electric, with an array of solar panels installed on the stadium roof, which will maximize energy generation. Built-in efficiency will ensure that intelligent systems eliminate energy waste.

An emergency backup generator will be provided and only operate during a utility power outage or when code required testing is performed.

Efficient Water Systems

A water harvesting system below the stadium field will capture rainwater and re-use this for irrigation. Water efficient systems, including dry urinals, proximity-controlled taps and reduced water mix taps and shower heads will help to reduce unnecessary consumption.

Materials

Materials, fixtures and fittings for the stadium will wherever possible be locally sourced to avoid substantial transportation impact on the environment. Furthermore, the Club is focused on construction that will promote efficient insulation and natural venting.

Public Transportation

To reduce environmental impact, the Willets Point stadium project is committed to delivering effective means to reach the stadium through public transportation. NYCFC is building on its relationship with MTA that started nearly a decade ago to continue to ensure accessible and affordable public transport options. Additionally, the Club will work closely with supporters groups, fans and local community groups to maximize the benefits of local public commuting, to discourage driving to matches and therefore reducing congestion and pollution.

Waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling

The Club is committed to reducing all waste at source. Fans will have easy access to drinking water refills throughout the stadium. The stadium will explore options for on-site composting of waste for local benefit. The Club is committed to reducing waste that goes to landfill.

Through the stadium project, the Club will work proactively with suppliers to ensure that there is a supply chain approach to its sustainability agenda, often working with small, local suppliers to improve and uplift their own related sustainability agendas, therefore improving the local community further.

Emissions Measurement

NYCFC is measuring all actions and emissions authentically and transparently, in line with national and local regulations. As part of the stadium project, the Club is focused on reducing CO2 emissions and working for credible net zero by 2040. The Club will also establish its year one benchmark with the aim to achieve continual reductions of at least 12% each year in its operations and events.

Compliance

NYCFC will ensure that there is full compliance and alignment with all local laws and regulations in relation to sustainability. Those include meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as City Football Group’s global sustainability agenda. The Club will continue to review and develop the sustainability plan for the stadium project so that it creates the best opportunities, remains viable and locally relevant.

New York City Football Club’s stadium sustainability plan particularly recognizes the key risks facing our planet, including extreme heat, drought conditions, flooding, fire and smoke pollution, and clean air risks.

“I’m proud that New York City will be home to the first fully electric sports stadium in Major League Soccer,” said Mayor Adams. “It’s imperative that we continue our shift to a more sustainable and resilient future, helping New York to better prepare for a changing climate. As a city, we’re reshaping our relationship with energy: how we generate, store and use it. New York City Football Club’s stadium will serve as a model for that goal. New York City has taken significant steps to become more sustainable, resilient and equitable, and this proposed stadium encompasses those commitments.”

“New York City Football Club is proud to release details of what would be a historic first-ever fully electric professional sports stadium for both MLS and New York City,” said NYCFC CEO Brad Sims. “Sustainability is at the heart of this project, and we’re focused on ensuring that the Club is leading the way when it comes to reducing environmental impact. We’re committed to building a stadium that serves as a model for projects in the future. Through renewable energy, the use of efficient materials, waste reduction and effective compliance, we’re excited to deliver a sustainable home for the Club and local community for decades to come.”

“This soccer stadium, and the larger Willets Point project, will transform a part of Queens that has a long and difficult history of environmental degradation,” said Council Member Francisco Moya. “It’s imperative that protecting vulnerable communities against the effects of climate change is at the heart of all infrastructure projects in our borough. As this stadium plan demonstrates, New York City Football Club takes sustainability incredibly seriously. I’m excited and proud that Queens would be home to a stadium that would serve as a model to others moving forward.”

“New York City Football Club is driven by a passionate belief that the sport can have a positive impact in our communities and empower better lives. Sustainability is at the core of that belief and we’re committed to playing our part in the future of our communities,” said Pete Bradshaw, City Football Group’s Director of Sustainability. “New York City Football Club’s sustainability plan sets out clear priorities on our journey to credible net zero by eliminating risk, building resilience and creating opportunities.”

“HOK’s approach to sustainability aligns with NYCFC’s culture, prioritizing the well-being of the fans and the community,” noted Chris DeVolder, Senior Principal with the stadium’s design and architecture firm HOK. “We integrated many sustainability strategies – solar power, water harvesting, access to public transportation and enhanced biodiversity – into the new stadium design to create a people-friendly environment that brings added value far beyond match day.”

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