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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 May, 2004, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Ecologically-friendly Cup Final?
By Sean Coughlan
BBC News Online

FA cup final
Long-term environmental damage from cup final day will be studied
It won't only be rubbish on the pitch that comes under scrutiny in this weekend's FA Cup Final.

The big match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is going to be examined for the first time in terms of its environmental impact.

Researchers from Cardiff University are going to measure how much energy, fuel, food, water and drink will be consumed in the staging of the match.

This is claimed as the first ecological audit for a major sporting event.

The researchers at Cardiff will calculate how much land would have been needed to grow the food consumed, generate the energy and to bury the waste produced by the game between Millwall and Manchester United.

Who grew all the pies?

The measurement of this environmental cost - the so-called "ecological footprint" - will be carried out with information from the local authorities, transport and catering companies.

This will look at details such as how fans travelled to the stadium and the numbers arriving by car, coach, train and plane.

The FA Cup
What will be the "ecological footprint" left at the Millennium Stadium?

The researchers, from the university's Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society, say there have been studies of the economic benefits of holding the cup final - but no one has examined the ecological impact.

"Cities all over the world are keen to host these big events because of the economic gains, but they don't have a grasp of the other environmental costs," says Professor Ken Peattie.

The study will focus on factors such as food, waste and transport - and won't extend to the energy consumed by a global television audience or all the kettles boiling for half-time cups of tea.

Noise pollution from supporters will also not be included in the survey.

Other environmentally-unfriendly factors that will not be included will be the surge in beer drinking, obese fans in replica shirts, dodgy cup final songs, specially-tailored team suits and "amusing" banners.

The Millennium Stadium claims a water supply of 90 litres per second and has 18 km of mains cabling and 110 floodlights - and crowds of over 70,000 can eat in 23 food outlets or drink in 15 bars.

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17 May 04  |  Science/Nature

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