The Super Bowl is a notorious consumer of energy. When you consider how many people are there, how many food stands are running, and how much electricity must be needed to power an entire stadium… it boggles the mind. In fact, Just Energy estimates that the Super Bowl requires about the same amount of energy to power 1,500 homes for a year. This year might be even worse as Super Bowl XLV is being held at the new Cowboy Stadium in Dallas, which has 1,000 WiFi access points across the stadium, 3,500 46-inch HD screens spread out throughout the place, and of course has the gigantic “Jerry-tron“— the 152-by-72-foot HD jumbotron (largest in the world) that stretches from 20 yard line to 20 yard line.
Everything, including energy use, is bigger in Texas.
So how is an energy-sapping Super Bowl going to get to carbon-neutral? Three words: renewable energy certificates. For every megawatt of electricity used at Super Bowl XLV and related official events and operations, the NFL (along with Just Energy) will ensure that one megawatt of renewable energy will be generated by the Sweetwater Wind Farm, just west of Dallas.
In addition, the NFL is ensuring that a number of other green projects are launched or continued from last year, including the planting of thousands of trees, recycling of waste, donation of leftover materials and foods, and use of biofuels in transportation vehicles and generators for events.
With any luck, these changes will offset the 15,000 MW carbon footprint associated with the Super Bowl, related events, hotel stays and transportation, and other human activities related to the Big Game. Maybe they could even hook up that stationary bike on the sidelines to a generator. I’ll bet Troy Polamalu could power at least half the stadium.