Go To:
  • ALT+A Toggle Accessibility Menu
  • ALT+H Home
  • ALT+1 Navigation
  • ALT+2 Main Content
  • ALT+3 Footer

Toronto Raptors And Air Canada Centre Go Green

Partner with the David Suzuki Foundation to promote awareness of environmental issues

April 7, 2009

As part of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s (MLSE) ongoing commitment to the environment and sustainability, the Toronto Raptors, Air Canada Centre and the David Suzuki Foundation will Team Up to Go Green for Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.

“We’re thrilled to be teaming up with the David Suzuki Foundation to help raise awareness about the importance of moving towards a more sustainable society,” said Bob Hunter, executive vice-president of venues and entertainment for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “The Green Game is just one way our organization is promoting its ongoing commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our venue and teams.”

Some of the Green activities in and around the arena on Tuesday night will include a reduction in the lighting on the concourse level, in-arena messages detailing how fans can reduce their carbon footprint, Raptors player Public Service Announcements (PSA) promoting recycling, a David Suzuki PSA and a 30% discount at CentreSports for all fans with proof of transit (Metropass, GO Train Ticket or TTC stub). The David Suzuki Foundation will also be highlighted in Air Canada Centre’s Community Corner.

Direct Energy will also donate $100 for every successful free throw by the Raptors as part of a “Frees for Trees” promotion, with the proceeds going to the David Suzuki Foundation. Fans will also have the opportunity to make in-arena text pledges for projects and initiatives that support the environment. A special reusable Direct Energy shopping bag will also be given away to 10,000 Raptors fans in attendance at Tuesday’s game.

The game coincides with the inaugural NBA Green Week. During Green Week, the entire NBA family will team up to generate awareness and funding to protect the environment through special on-court apparel, auctions to support environmental preservation organizations and hands-on community service projects. In addition, NBA.com will launch a new micro site, www.nba.com/green, featuring everything from greening tips for fans to interviews with NBA players.

As part of NBA Green Week 2009, adidas will outfit all players with 100 percent organic cotton adidas shooting shirts featuring the NBA Green logo. The Denver Nuggets, Charlotte Bobcats, and the Chicago Bulls will wear green-colored uniforms and socks made from 45 percent organic cotton during select home games throughout the week to raise additional environmental awareness. NBA.com will also host an online auction of Spalding basketballs, made from 40 percent recycled materials and autographed by NBA players. The auction will continue through April 16, with all proceeds benefiting the National Resources Defense Council.

Last month the Maple Leafs and Air Canada Centre participated in Earth Hour by reducing lighting in the parking garage, concourses, and washrooms; dimming signage illumination and turning off the arena’s iconic spotlights for the evening.

Air Canada Centre is in its second year of a five-year plan where Canada’s premier sports and entertainment venue will invest $5 million to reduce its overall carbon footprint. The venue’s environmental initiatives include: reducing its energy consumption and its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent, re-engineering Air Canada Centre’s mechanical and electrical operations, and implementing a waste diversion program.

During the 2008 calendar year, Air Canada Centre’s greening efforts resulted in a total waste diversion increase of 25 percent or nearly 237 tonnes of plastics, glass, paper and organics.

About MLSE Team Up Green

MLSE Team Up Green is Maple Leaf Sport & Entertainment’s initiative to reduce of its carbon footprint. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment has committed to investing more than $5 million over a five period for greening initiatives and programs for Air Canada Centre.

About the David Suzuki Foundation

Since 1990, the David Suzuki Foundation (www.davidsuzuki.org) has worked to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us. Focusing on four program areas – oceans and sustainable fishing, climate change and clean energy, sustainability, and the Nature Challenge - the Foundation uses science and education to promote solutions that conserve nature and help achieve sustainability within a generation.