Sarah Buente

The NBA is spreading the sustainability message, educating basketball fans nationwide about the benefits of environmental stewardship and green building.

With the most LEED certified venues of any professional sport in the United States, the NBA has established itself as an industry leader in green building. Their six LEED certified arenas offer unique opportunities to promote sustainability practices and improve the community's they serve. Let's take a look at these impressive arenas!       

AmericanAirlines Arena / Miami Heat

In 2009, the AmericanAirlines Arena received LEED certification for Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance. Five years later, the Arena is still leading the way in sustainable, green building through ongoing performance verification. In January 2015, the Arena outperformed its first certification, becoming the first sports and entertainment venue in the world to achieve LEED Gold rectification.  

Amway Center / Orlando Magic

In 2011, Amway Center established itself as a sports industry leader when it became the the first NBA facility to certify at the LEED Gold level for New Construction. The building's sustainable design features include 20% less energy use and 40% less water use than arenas of similar size. The results are dramatic: Amway Center boasts water savings of 1.3 million gallons annually. 

Barclays Center / Brooklyn Nets 

Barclays Center was awarded LEED Silver for New Construction in 2013. Designed as part of an effort to revitalize the area, the arena serves as a shining example of an integrated approach to sustainability. “From site selection to materials used, we were focused on building one of the most sustainable arenas in the country,” said Bruce Ratner, Executive Chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies, the developer of Barclays Center and Atlantic Yards. “With mass transit as our foundation, we’ve built an arena that speaks to innovation and design as the corner stone of sustainability.”

Moda Center / Portland Trail Blazers

Moda Center (formerly Rose Garden Arena) was the first major league sports venue to receive LEED Gold certification when it certified at the Gold level for Existing Buildings in 2009. At the time, the NBA lauded their accomplishment as a milestone in the greening of sports, noting, "The  Portland  Trail  Blazers  have  demonstrated once again that they are leaders  with  their  continued  commitment  to  sustainable  resources and renewable  energy...This designation is another important step for the NBA to demonstrate how we can all play a role in lessening the environmental impact of our operations, arenas and events.”

Philips Arena / Atlanta Hawks

Philips Arena, consistently named among the top 10 concert and event arenas in the world, was the first NBA arena to be awarded LEED certification for Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance. With 160 events and 1.6 million guests annually, the multipurpose venue's sustainability message reaches a huge audience. Green efforts at the arena have included energy savings of more than 4.5 million kilowatt hours a year.   

Toyota Center / Houston Rockets

In 2010, Toyota Center received LEED Silver certification for Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance. Toyota Center's green initiatives were on full display when they hosted the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. Tad Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Houston Rockets, is committed to using the organization's sustainable parctices as an educational tool: "This certification serves as validation that our aggressive approach to energy management, recycling and waste reduction programs have made a difference here at Toyota Center and in our community. Toyota Center has a unique opportunity to serve as an industry leader in the future of sustainability. We are operating in a more environmentally conscious manner and educating the millions of patrons that attend Toyota Center events each year regarding ways they can help.”

Is your favorite NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL or MLS team's venue LEED certified? Visit our map on Pinterest to view a list of LEED certified professional sports venues. To learn more about USGBC's efforts to certify sports venues to LEED, you can also visit the GBIG site to see a collection of professional sports venuesexplore individual projectsfind the most recent certifications or see a map of projects