In an effort to make football stadiums more energy efficient, the U.S. Green Building Council and the Green Sports Alliance have partnered up with the intention to cut down on energy use during football games.
The two groups will be aiming their focus on “increasing the number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified” college football stadiums nationwide. In professional sports, there are already 25 LEED-certified stadiums, with the Washington Nationals’ home field, Nationals Park, on the forefront.
Sporting events consume a lot of energy. A single soccer match in the English Premier League produces the same amount of carbon produced by 500,000 gallons of gasoline, leaving behind a “carbon footprint of 5,160 tons.” The study that indicated those facts equated the power used in one game to the annual energy use of over 700 homes. Although staggering, the energy consumption of one soccer game is dwarfed by that of Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX.
An energy analyst found that Cowboys Stadium uses more electricity than the African country of Liberia, a country of over 3 million people, on a single gameday. The money spent to build the stadium is equal to almost half of Liberia’s national GDP, which is $2.7 billion. Cowboys Stadium uses 10 megawatts of electricity in a single day, sufficient to power over 1,000 homes.
Along with Nationals Park, a lot of other stadiums in the country have been pursuing greener, more efficient ways to power themselves. Lincoln Financial Field, where the Philadelphia Eagles play, has already installed 11,000 solar panels and over a dozen wind turbines to power the games. Since it began its energy saving initiatives, Lincoln Financial Field cut energy use by 33 percent. In all, 18 stadiums use solar energy.
The Minnesota Twins’ Target Field harvests rainwater to clean its seating area. The Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons, has installed more efficient fluorescent and halide lighting and low-flow commodes.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.