New York — Are you ready for some football? American football, that is, with all due respect to the rest of the world that considers soccer as true football. If you're set to watch the big game on Sunday, February 3, you might want to look for some of the behind-the-action commodities.
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No one knows which players will stand out, but the new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta -- the site of this year's contest -- will certainly be a shining star. The new home of the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer's Atlanta United is quite the spectacle. The stadium's retractable roof was inspired by the Roman Pantheon. Some facts, according to the media operations team at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:
**The stadium roof is made up of 27,500 st of steel -- 3,500 of which make up the roof petals. (Note: That tonnage, if ordered today, would cost about $24 million, based on the latest S&P Global Platts price assessment for steel beam.)
**The roof may appear to rotate open but it's an optical illusion -- it opens by the movement of eight "petals" that slide open in a straight line.
**Each roof petal weighs 500 st and can open and close in eight minutes, using only the horsepower of a compact car.
**85,000 steel bolts on the fixed roof
**The 360-degree HD halo video board consists of approximately 500 st of steel supporting 500 st of video boards.
**Stainless steel was used for a 41.5-ft tall statue of a falcon outside the stadium, hailed as the largest bird sculpture in the world, with a wingspan of more than 64 ft.
**As for petrochemicals, ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) is a fluorine-based plastic, and each roof petal structure is clad with air-inflated ETFE pillows.
**ETFE is a highly durable, lightweight fabric that is translucent, allowing for a light-filled stadium.
**Petrochemicals are also protecting the athletes under that roof once the game starts. Today's plastic football helmets are made from molded polycarbonate shells with foam padding -- generally either polyurethane, polystyrene, polypropylene, or ethylene vinyl acetate on the inside.
**The synthetic playing field is a monofilament polyethylene fiber, Revolution 360 from FieldTurf, boasting a cooling system that reduces surface temperature by up to 35 degrees Fahrenheit compared to traditional artificial turfs.
**150,000 cubic yards of concrete used to build the stadium
**More than 35,000 gallons of paint
**4,000 miles of fiber-optic cables
**The first professional sports stadium in North America to be awarded LEED Platinum Certification from the United States Green Building Council (Total score of 88 points -- the highest LEED score ever for a sports venue)
**Stadium power is supplied by seven 19,800 volt/3,000 kVa utility transformers from two separate utility vault locations.
**4,000 solar PV panels are installed on the stadium site and the Georgia World Congress Authority campus with the goal of generating approximately 1.6 million kWh/year of renewable energy.
**The 1.6 million kW generated by the stadium are enough to power about 10% of the stadium's energy consumption -- the equivalent of approximately 160 households in Atlanta, or more than nine Atlanta Falcons home games or 13 Atlanta United home matches.
**Uses 29% less energy than a typical building of its size.
**Ten electric vehicle charging stations are installed in various parking areas with capacity to charge up to 48 vehicles simultaneously.
**Stadium-wide LED lighting system reduces energy use by as much as 60% (more than 44 million LED lights in the visual displays alone).
In time for the Super Bowl, the stadium is committed to becoming a zero-waste venue by February 2019. Compostable paper soda cups and lids are used at all concession stands. Compost and recycling bins are clearly marked throughout the building so that fans can actively participate in the building's sustainable efforts. Since its opening August 26, 2017, Mercedes-Benz stadium officials report it has collected 1.197 million lb of recycled material.
Fun fact: In terms of pro teams named after commodities or energy, the Pittsburgh Steelers have played in eight Super Bowls, the San Francisco 49ers (named for those involved in the 1849 California gold rush) have played in five and the Los Angeles (formerly San Diego) Chargers have appeared in one.
-- Joe Innace, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Edited by Derek Sands, email@example.com