Location Baltimore
Size 1.6 million ft²
Completed 2013
Program Two-part stadium renovation and energy reduction initiative


Owner Baltimore Ravens
Architect IMT Architecture + Design
Design Consultant Powers Creative
Lighting Design Consultant Syska Hennessy Group

The Baltimore Ravens, 2012’s reigning Super Bowl champions, work tirelessly toward perfection, and even the football team’s field, the M&T Bank Stadium (known as “The Bank”), isn’t exempt from this pursuit. Built in 1998, it’s currently undergoing a revamp that should lead to LEED Gold status.

The Bank’s anticipated LEED Gold certification—which will be classified under the Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance category—is part of a much larger effort aimed toward streamlining operations. “Six years ago, [Ravens president] Dick Cass proposed a challenge,” says Roy Sommerhof, vice president of the Ravens’ stadium operations department. “We had to reduce our budget by 10 percent. In stadium operations, that meant addressing utility expenses.”

The operations team began by tackling the concession-stand coolers. “There are more than 1,000 of those units inside the stadium, and they were running constantly from August through early January,” Sommerhof says. The solution seemed simple: operations would turn off the refrigerators when The Bank was not in use. However, concessions vendors were concerned that their products would be adversely affected if not refrigerated 24/7, but operations staff wasn’t easily dissuaded. “We did a test to see how long it took to cool down a warm beverage to its optimal serving temperature. It turned out to be 18 hours,” Sommerhof says. “Now, we turn the refrigerators on 18 hours before a game, and we have yet to get a complaint.”

At night, the stadium is lit mostly with LED lights. Moving forward, every fixture will house an LED bulb. Architect Chun-Fa Tan says despite the up front cost, the investment will pay off quickly. Photo: Shawn Hubbard


Certification LEED Gold (expected)
Materials Arriscraft Renaissance masonry units, concrete, weatherproof stripping
Water Waterless urinals, smart irrigation system
Energy Automatic light switches, refrigerator units shut down during off-peak hours, LED boards and fixtures
Recycling Recycling receptacles, recycling public relations campaign
Landscape Turf requires no irrigation, uses pellets from stadium’s first field

All those empty beverage containers means a lot of trash, so the operations team has also implemented an aggressive recycling program. For each trash can inside The Bank and outside in the tailgating area, there’s now a recycling bin sitting right next to it. So stadium attendees would know about the recycling program, the operations team did a public relations recycling campaign for the 2013-2014 season. “Seven years ago, we were only recycling two tons of trash per game,” says Jeff Provenzano, director of football operations for the Maryland Stadium Authority at The Bank. “In 2012, we recycled 13 to 14 tons per game. And what wasn’t recycled was burned and converted into steam. Nothing goes into a landfill.” The stadium’s efforts don’t end with recycling; waterless urinals have replaced typical ones in the men’s restrooms, drastically reducing The Bank’s overall water consumption. Even the Ravens’ new pristine field, which doesn’t require watering, incorporates recycled pellets that came from the stadium’s first turf surface.

Still, much of the focus of the operations team’s reduction plan concentrates on electrical consumption. As part of the stadium’s two-stage renovation, new and additional LED information boards will replace existing boards. Each LED light has a life cycle of 10 to 15 years, and the boards don’t require additional cooling systems. LEDs will also replace existing bulbs, and all new lighting will be all-LED. “There’s no substitute for LEDs,” says Chun-Fa Tan, the architect from IMT Architecture + Design leading the renovation. “In the new concourse renovation alone, there’s more than two miles of fixtures. The cost may be more up front, but from an operations standpoint, they will really pay off.”

Those payoffs, as the LEED Gold certification indicates, are already making a difference. “When we started our initiatives, we were using 16 million kilowatts of energy a year,” Provenzano says. “Last year, we came in right under 11 million.” That’s an energy reduction of more than 30 percent, and in the true Ravens’ spirit, the operations team has no plans to stay satisfied with those results. “We’ll never stop looking for places where we can save,” he adds. “There’s always a way to save a kilowatt.”