New York City Football Club has revealed extensive sustainability plans for the Club’s proposed new soccer stadium in Willets Point, Queens, that would include making the. 25,000-seat stadium the first fully electric stadium in Major League Soccer.
According to a release on the team website, the facility would also become the first fully electric professional sports stadium in New York City.
Details of NYCFC’s sustainability plan come as the stadium, which is being designed by HOK as 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 percent 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.
“HOK’s approach to sustainability aligns with NYCFC’s culture, prioritizing the well-being of the fans and the community,” noted Chris DeVolder, HOK senior principal. “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.”
As outlined in the team release, NYCFC's sustainability plan, including the design and building of the stadium, will focus on the following:
The stadium will be all-electric, with an array of solar panels installed on the stadium roof to 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 and re-use rainwater 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, 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.
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 the Metropolitan Transit Authority 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 onsite 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.
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 percent each year in its operations and events.
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 New York mayor Eric 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.”
“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.”