North Carolina State University basketball is perhaps best known for its legendary title run in 1983 behind its late, great coach, Jim Valvano. But, the 2013-14 Wolfpack team are not slouches either, tallying an 11-5 record at press time in the always terrific Atlantic Coast Conference. Though NC State’s Raleigh, NC, campus sprawls more than 2,100 acres, its basketball team plays a few miles to the northeast at the 15-year-old PNC Arena, also home to the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes franchise. A large, corporate-sponsored arena (PNC holds 19,772 for hoops contests) has its pros and cons for a college team — PNC lacks the intimacy of conference rival Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium a few miles away in Durham, but the arena’s seasoned operations team has put a solid waste-reduction plan in place. Lindsey Hall, PNC Arena’s Marketing Coordinator, filled 1-800-RECYCLING in on the green efforts underway at the arena this season. “We do have a recycling program in place where we collect bottles and cans from patrons throughout the concourse as well as from all concessions stands, portable carts, suites and restaurant areas,” Hall explains. “We also recycle our cardboard and paper.” At the moment, arena staff is exploring the option of implementing composting across the arena concourse. With approximately 20 NC State home games and 40-some Hurricanes games (plus concerts, rodeos and other special events) every year, there is a prime opportunity to compost a massive amount of leftover organics within the arena’s confines. To this point, Hall states, the arena does not quantify its recyclables count on a game-by-game basis, instead tallying its numbers monthly over the past few seasons. Hall says PNC Arena averages average about 7 tons of recyclables per month at this time. “Nearly every trash can in our public areas has a recycling bin next to it, so we aim to make it extremely easy for patrons to choose to recycle,” Hall continues. She goes on to mention that the arena does not have any specific promotional materials on its recycling efforts, but pregame video in the arena reminds patrons to make the eco-friendly choice when disposing of items. The arena also participated in the NHL’s Go Green campaign and promotional night this season, even running a marketing campaign to create a “green” Hurricanes logo. As for NC State basketball, the university directly benefits from all of these arena and NHL initiatives as a tenant of the arena. It is really a win-win for the Wolfpack: They get to play in a state-of-the-art professional sports arena while enjoying the green game-time procedures already in place. Perhaps playing off campus is truly the way to go!
Rebound and Recycle: Greening the Game at NC State
NC State plays basketball at a pro hockey arena and directly benefits from the green procedures already in place with game day operations.