Drawing more than 114 million viewers in the United States alone, the 2015 Super Bowl was the most-watched U.S. television event of the year, not to mention the most popular Super Bowl to date.While this year’s matchup between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers promises to surpass even those numbers, we are particularly excited by some growing renewable energy trends emerging around stadiums and athletic events. While last year’s Super Bowl XLIX was the first to be played under energy-efficient LED lights, this year, San Francisco has really upped the ante for upcoming Super Bowl 50:
- Using solar panels in key areas, San Fransisco’s Levi Stadium has the ability to generate enough renewable energy for an entire season of home games and is being called “the greenest and most technologically advanced professional football stadium in the United States.”
- When the stadium opened in August 2014, it was the first U.S. professional football stadium to have achieved LEED Gold certification at opening.
- Inside the stadium, visitors can view a live dashboard display featuring current energy measurements, water and air monitors, and other dynamic green features.
- The Super Bowl 50 Host Committee will coordinate several reforestation and urban tree-planting events.
- A “50 Fund” was established that will enable fans to decide how $200,000 from the Sustainable Environments Game Changer Grant is allocated to a short list of Bay Area environmental nonprofits.
- In partnership with PG&E, much of the energy to power Super Bowl related activities will be renewably generated. Gen 4 temporary power generators used in Super Bowl City will run on Neste NEXBTL renewable diesel, and where renewable power is not feasible, renewable energy credits (RECs) will reduce the game’s greenhouse gas impact.
As a sign of ongoing progress, in 2017 the game heads to NRG Stadium in Houston--a location in the heart of an oil-and-gas town. That stadium features a dedicated parking lot for Electric Vehicles (EVs), more than 600 solar panels, and LED lights.
Like many other business entities, pro football stadiums are becoming more sustainable, and through the uniquely visible vehicle of the Super Bowl, the league is exposing millions of fans to the ease and beauty of sustainable structures.
No matter who you’re rooting for on February 7, it seems our planet may already come out the winner. Not only has the league shown its interest in sustainable architecture, but they are underscoring how cost effective renewable investments (solar included) can be. If you have questions, or would like to learn how solar can dramatically reduce your energy bills and put you in the same league with America’s favorite sporting event, contact SEG.