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Saturday, January 01, 2022

Climate change will force major sports leagues to change. Is MLB ready?

What can make a huge dent is drastically limiting travel, like all the major sports leagues were forced to do in 2020 as a response to the pandemic.

In a study recently published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, Wynes calculated the drop in carbon emissions per game for MLB, the NBA, NFL and NHL based on their specific schedule alterations, which amounted to significantly less travel across sports.

Travel accounts for about a quarter of the leagues’ total emissions — extrapolated from data from the NHL, which is the most transparent. But Wynes argues it’s an important area of consideration because air travel is inherently difficult to make more environmentally friendly.

“And no one else is really going to do it for you,” he says.

“So the leagues could kind of sit back and, this wouldn’t be advisable, but just wait. And eventually fans are going to start showing up to games in electric vehicles, because that industry is going to decarbonize through the efforts of other agents, and government, and so on. But air travel will not be like that. So as time goes on, that fraction is going to grow larger and larger for sports industries.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 01, 2022 at 05:41 PM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: climate change

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   1. Tin Angel Posted: January 01, 2022 at 06:09 PM (#6059275)
By the time sports leagues are somehow able to be forced into restricting air travel it will already be way too late.
   2. John Northey Posted: January 01, 2022 at 06:21 PM (#6059278)
Easy PR win and cost cutting measure for MLB - radical realignment where you make divisions far smaller geographically. Using this map one can see quickly obvious groupings and issues. We have Seattle floating out on its own, same for Colorado. 6 teams close on the west coast (SF/A's/LAD/LAA/SD/Arizona) and in the north east (NYY, NYM, Red Sox, Phillies, O's, Washington). 11 reasonably tight (Toronto, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, ChiSox, Cubs, Brewers, Twins, KC, StL), and 5 south teams (Miami, TB, Atlanta, Texas, Houston). 6 team divisions probably make the most sense but what to do with Seattle and Colorado? Put one in the 'south' division (Colorado) and stick Seattle in the group of 11 to create 2 6 team divisions?

WHat about 6 5 team divisions? More difficult. Arizona could shift to a 'mess' division with Seattle, Colorado, and the 2 Texas teams. Royals/Cards/Cubs/ChiSox/and either Milwaukee or the Twins, other going with Detroit/Toronto/Cleveland/Reds, poor Pittsburgh put into division of death with NYY/NYM/Red Sox/Phillies, then Washington/Baltimore/Tampa/Atlanta/Miami for the final division. I guess you could put the Jays in that division instead of the Pirates as they actually can compete with the Yankees & Red Sox but as a Jays fan I'd much rather put them in a division with the Tigers.

Still, regardless of how you do it, radical realignment (6 or 5 team divisions) I think is inevitable and would be good for reducing travel thus better for GHG and for expenses for teams and make for better rivalries. I miss the old Jays/Tigers battles of the 80's.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 01, 2022 at 07:05 PM (#6059284)
Wouldn’t turning up the thermostat a couple of degrees at the BDC Dome have more impact? I was under the impression the Rangers climate control effort was equivalent to air-conditioning a significant part of Hell.
   4. bookbook Posted: January 01, 2022 at 07:07 PM (#6059285)
Or…. And hear me out. We utilize stadia for meaningful solar generation when not otherwise in use. Create very comfortable EV team buses.

If Teams promote climate responsibility to their customers, and require their corporate sponsors to accelerate their carbon-zero plans in order to sponsor, it would make a much bigger difference.
   5. DL from MN Posted: January 01, 2022 at 07:08 PM (#6059286)
Time to go back to train travel like Babe Ruth?
   6. Hombre Brotani Posted: January 01, 2022 at 09:01 PM (#6059300)
I was under the impression the Rangers climate control effort was equivalent to air-conditioning a significant part of Hell.
That has more to do with Globe Life Field being located in the state of Texas than anything else.
   7. shoelesjoe Posted: January 01, 2022 at 09:31 PM (#6059301)
So is “climate change” these days defined as getting colder or getting hotter? I can’t keep track because the science seems to turn on a dime every ten or twenty years depending on the political requirements.
   8. Adam Starblind Posted: January 01, 2022 at 11:56 PM (#6059317)
. o is “climate change” these days defined as getting colder or getting hotter? I can’t keep track because the science seems to turn on a dime every ten or twenty years depending on the political requirements.


And did you ever notice there’s no stars in those pictures of Neil Armstrong on “the moon”?
   9. John Northey Posted: January 02, 2022 at 12:32 AM (#6059320)
shoelesjoe - I'm guessing the movie "don't look up" would fit you quite nicely. FYI: you would be one of those who refuse to look up because your favorite politicians told you not to.
   10. McCoy Posted: January 02, 2022 at 10:00 AM (#6059335)
It really doesn't matter and it's silly to use that as an excuse to do nothing. Quite clearly what we're doing is bad for the planet, both now and in the future.
   11. winnipegwhip Posted: January 02, 2022 at 11:06 AM (#6059338)
No Lights at Wrigley Field!!!
   12. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: January 02, 2022 at 02:33 PM (#6059355)
How many people travel with an MLB team? Twenty-six player, 5-10 trainers and coaches, a few executives….so 40-45 or so?
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: January 02, 2022 at 03:15 PM (#6059358)
No Lights at Wrigley Field!!!

there were none the first couple of years I visited, and it was great.
buddy made all of us swear that we'll never attend a game at Wrigley under the lights - and I haven't.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: January 02, 2022 at 04:10 PM (#6059360)
Just 3D print the players at the road stadium.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 02, 2022 at 04:23 PM (#6059362)
Or play the games on a spreadsheet.
   16. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: January 02, 2022 at 05:03 PM (#6059365)
How many people travel with an MLB team? Twenty-six player, 5-10 trainers and coaches, a few executives….so 40-45 or so?


That feels light to me. There always seem to be a bunch of hangers on. The Red Sox website lists 13 coaches for example;

26 players
13 coaches; Manager, hitting coach, asst hitting coach (eye roll), other asst hitting coach (other eye roll), pitching coach, bullpen coach, 1B and 3B coach, bench coach, game planning coordinator, bullpen catcher, staff assistant, major league field coordinator
3 trainers; head trainer, 2 assistant trainers
Strength and conditioning coach
Masseuse (2)
Physical therapist

That’s 46 people who are running around the clubhouse and dugout on any given day. Batboys don’t travel I don’t think, I assume there are a couple of clubhouse guys that go along to lug equipment to and fro (I assume no one is expecting Chris Sale to carry his own bags). I assume there are a couple of traveling secretary/assistant to the traveling secretary types to make sure there are rooms and food and presumably someone is paying a bunch of bills for the team.

Even assuming no FO bigwigs (e.g. GM, owner) I’d bet it’s 65-70 easy.

Now I’m curious though as to what the right answer is. Someone around here must know.
   17. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 02, 2022 at 06:21 PM (#6059370)
Add in at least one media relations type, probably now more like 2-4. Are we counting broadcast personnel (in the booth, not camera operators or such) as part of the team?
   18. Cooper Teenoh Posted: January 02, 2022 at 08:48 PM (#6059380)
The impression that I have is that when a team flies to a destination they are the only people on the plane, right? Whether it's a team-owned plane or a charter, it's just people who are traveling because they are connected to the game in some way. Removing all of those long single-purpose flights seems like it could make some kind of meaningful dent.
This is the first reason for restructuring MLB that I didn't dislike.
   19. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: January 02, 2022 at 09:42 PM (#6059385)
I don’t think MLB would realign to lower their carbon emissions, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they switched to a low carbon/zero carbon jet fuel sometime in the next 10 years.
   20. Adam Starblind Posted: January 02, 2022 at 10:31 PM (#6059392)
There’s always cap and trade arrangements if they care (they don’t).
   21. smileyy Posted: January 02, 2022 at 11:55 PM (#6059399)
I shouldn't feed the troll by trying to explain how an overall rise in temperature can cause both warmer and colder temperatures, huh?
   22. McCoy Posted: January 03, 2022 at 05:29 AM (#6059406)
I forget what the right answer is but it's a lot of people traveling with the team. I've worked at hotels where baseball teams have stayed at and I want to say the room blocks are for like 80.

Scouts, FO people, and PR people as well
   23. Mefisto Posted: January 03, 2022 at 09:25 AM (#6059409)
@21: Nope, just put it on ignore.
   24. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 03, 2022 at 05:26 PM (#6059484)
radical realignment (6 or 5 team divisions) I think is inevitable

What would reactionary realignment be? All the teams in one division, with no playoffs?
   25. The Duke Posted: January 03, 2022 at 09:31 PM (#6059514)
The first sign of a hoax religion is when you need to change your religions name after 20 years because the Al Gore’s gospels aren’t coming true. Climate change is much better because you can rope anything that happens into “see, that’s climate change for you”.

And as 21 points out there are always the sage head nodders who tut-tut that they need to explain to you that cooling, warming, no change at all are all signs of the same phenomenon. Anything that happens is proof of my theory!

I’m old enough to remember when the special section in our Sunday newspaper was devoted to the coming Ice Age. The glaciers will be here soon and the last time they came all the way to the United States!!! At least we don’t have to worry about glaciers for 50-60 more years.







   26. Adam Starblind Posted: January 03, 2022 at 11:18 PM (#6059526)
. The first sign of a hoax religion is when you need to change your religions name after 20 years because the Al Gore’s gospels aren’t coming true. Climate change is much better because you can rope anything that happens into “see, that’s climate change for you”.

And as 21 points out there are always the sage head nodders who tut-tut that they need to explain to you that cooling, warming, no change at all are all signs of the same phenomenon. Anything that happens is proof of my theory!

I’m old enough to remember when the special section in our Sunday newspaper was devoted to the coming Ice Age. The glaciers will be here soon and the last time they came all the way to the United States!!! At least we don’t have to worry about glaciers for 50-60 more years.


And why is the flag rippling, hmmm??? There’s no air on the moon!
   27. NaOH Posted: January 03, 2022 at 11:54 PM (#6059530)
The Duke Posted: January 03, 2022 at 09:31 PM (#6059514)
The first sign of a hoax religion is when you need to change your religions name after 20 years because the Al Gore’s gospels aren’t coming true. Climate change is much better because you can rope anything that happens into “see, that’s climate change for you”.


The term climate change was brought to the fore and then into the vernacular based on the recommendation of longtime Republican strategist Frank Luntz. In 2001 he advised its usage to George W. Bush, and then Republicans in general, because, as he wrote to Bush, "climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge." You can read more about the memo here.

You can also read about his statement in 2019 to a Senate committee that "I’m here before you to say that I was wrong in 2001."

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