Building construction in sports has become nearly as familiar as the World Series or the Super Bowl. This year, the San Francisco 49ers moved into the new state-of-the-art Levi’s Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings will have a new home in 2016 and renovation on Wrigley Field will be complete by 2018.

Being in the public eye means sports venues are scrutinized by a variety of stakeholders, including fans, advertisers and politicians. Looking to set a good example in their communities, new and upgraded sports facilities typically aim for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification — and that’s accelerating the greening of the entire sports market.

“Our sports teams are great civic jewels, and the venues also see themselves as community leaders,” says Keith Schneringer, director of channel marketing and sustainability for Waxie Sanitary Supply in San Diego, California. “People watch what they do closely and want to know that they’re paying attention to sustainability.”

Given their visibility and unique purchasing power, sports facilities tend to be ahead of the curve when it comes to green cleaning. In this market, green is no longer a value-added service and the facilities frequently go beyond LEED guidelines. Sustainability is an expectation, and these businesses are looking for innovative ways to go above and beyond.

“Green has always been on the top of their list, but year after year it’s been a constant improvement to try and find new ways to do everything better,” says Mike Kilsdonk, sustainability manager for Marsden Bldg Maintenance, St. Paul, Minnesota, which services several large sports facilities in the Minneapolis area.

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Sports Facilities Present Specialized Cleaning Challenges