Sustainable sports: How San Diego is cutting stadium costs 25%

During a game, a ballpark basically becomes a small city. But a few hours before or after it can practically be a ghost town. Those dramatic usage swings set up a tremendous opportunity for waste.

In San Diego, however, the cost of running Petco Park could be cut by at least 25% with the help of Council Lead Partner Qualcomm and OSIsoft, as you’ll read in the news release below.

The project will give stadium managers not only a real-time look at the energy and water consumption of the ballpark, but the individual usage for every vendor. Rather than just trying to mandate a certain level of across-the-board cuts, this level of insight will help managers develop more tailored — and effective — strategies to improve overall sustainability.

From population growth to climate change, sustainability is an increasingly critical issue for cities and this project is noteworthy for several reasons. First, there are more than 10,000 stadiums around the world, so finding ways to manage them more sustainably will have a positive impact.

But this project also serves as a blueprint for any sustainability initiative. The combination of data and analytics unlocks truly valuable insights that can allow you to make a big difference quickly. Whether you’re running a ballpark, a business park or a city, as San Diego shows, this really works. — Kevin Ebi


Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions, Inc. and OSIsoft LLC, are working together with the San Diego Padres to expand the team’s efforts focused on reducing overall utility and water consumption and further augmenting its ongoing sustainability efforts.  The San Diego Padres are utilizing edge intelligence gateways, powered by Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors, to collect data from critical infrastructure systems and stream it in real-time to OSIsoft’s PI System in order to monitor utilities, improve operating efficiencies and drive sustainability across the team’s entire Petco Park ballpark.

“We are thrilled to be working with Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions and OSIsoft on this project, with the potential to increase efficiencies, reduce operational expenses by more than 25% in the next five years, and support our ongoing efforts to make Petco Park a smarter, more sustainable venue,” said Randy McWilliams, senior director, facility services, Padres. “By using the gateways together with the open data infrastructure, we can see exactly how much water, power and gas each operation uses ballpark-wide, and can work with our operators and tenants to manage usage and increase the reliability and overall performance of the venue.”

Ballparks represent one of the most difficult and unusual challenges for facilities managers.  They are very large facilities, where the number of occupants can zoom from a handful of employees to full capacity and then back to a handful in a matter of hours. Furthermore, many of these venues were not built with sophisticated instrumentation and control systems to closely manage water or power.

Using the products and services offered by Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions and OSIsoft together, facilities managers can monitor potable, non-potable and chilled water, as well as natural gas and electricity consumption from sensors throughout the park during games or other events. This also allows the Padres to help vendors and/or tenants understand their utility usage and drive toward sustainability goals.

The edge intelligence gateways, using Snapdragon processors, connect to sensors and legacy systems throughout the ballpark using a broad range of communication methods, including wired and wireless technologies, analog and digital inputs and multiple communication protocols.  These edge intelligence gateways acquire, store and stream data in real-time to the OSIsoft PI System which then presents the data to the Padres’ facilities managers using OSIsoft’s Visualization Suite and analytics, providing the operations team with deep situational awareness of everything happening in the venue.   

“Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions’ approach to creating smarter cities starts with repurposing existing infrastructure, including existing water and gas systems installed in facilities such as Petco Park and other large event venues,” said Kiva Allgood, president, Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions, Inc. “With our new edge intelligence solutions seamlessly delivering real-time data to an open data system like the OSIsoft PI System, we can create a model for connected communication networks that can be deployed in existing large scale venues and multi-tenant facilities without the hefty costs of installing new systems.”

OSIsoft’s PI System is one of the world’s most widely used technologies for the Industrial Internet of Things. The PI System captures the data generated by the array of sensors and other assets inside factories, power plants data centers and other complex facility in real-time and transforms it into rich, actionable information streams that people can use to reduce costs, optimize production or make critical business decisions.

“The foundation of the smart city is data, and we are very proud to work with Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions to help the Padres lower costs, drive sustainability and engage the community,” said Martin Otterson, senior vice president of sales, marketing and industry, OSIsoft. “The Padres’ accomplishments will also provide a guide for others. There are approximately 12,000 stadiums in the world, and many are in regions and cities mapping out plans to use energy and water in smarter ways.”

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