What goes into a great game? So much effort is put into making the Big Game memorable on the field and at home. We never stop to think about how much energy gets consumed in the grand scheme of things. This year TerraPass is empowering the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee to tackle climate change by supporting the first ever Net Positive game. What better place to set the stage than at a “net-zero” venue like Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara, CA? Let’s take a look at what goes into making this game such a spectacular event and learn some tips to stay net positive this year.
Who’s tuning in: Assuming there are about five people at the average game day party, around 30 million televisions will be tuned in on Sunday, February 7th. On average, a TV will use around 100 watt-hours during the entire five-hour broadcast. Plasma TV’s are even higher in electricity use: more like 125 watt-hours during the game.
Tips: Lower your carbon footprint by watching the game with as many people as you can at home; besides it’s more fun to watch with a group! If you’re going to a friend’s home for the Big Game, remember to power down your home while you’re gone. If everyone does this, the impact is enough to create a noticeable dip in power consumption.
Stadium lighting is more efficient than ever: Stadiums these days are equipped with special LED lights, which are really energy-efficient. LED lights now use up to 75% less energy than older stadium lights. Typical football game days utilize an estimated 4 to 7 MW of power. Stadiums use up to 10 MW of energy from the grid at their peak, which means putting as much as 6.9 metric tons of CO2e into the atmosphere. That is the same impact as driving over 16,000 miles! Luckily, Levi’s Stadium is a “net zero” venue – it uses clean energy and balances its emissions. That’s a win-win right there.
Stadium solar system: Levi’s Stadium is equipped with 375 kW solar installation, which produces roughly 468,000 kWh annually. This system has the same effect as planting 8,275 tree seedlings every year and then growing them for 10 years. This is tremendously helpful when trying to keep the game’s environmental impact down.
Water usage: Levi’s Stadium features reclaimed potable and non-potable water. As an added bonus, a geothermal heat pump transfers heat from the sun-drenched ground all around the stadium straight to the hot water supply.
Unique green roofing: The stadium has a 27,000 square-foot green roof with native plant species in addition to the solar panels. That’s unlike anything you’d usually see at a football stadium!
Location and building: Santa Clara is in Silicon Valley, at the forefront for top-notch technology. Levi’s Stadium uses recycled materials and has an extremely sophisticated building control system. It is proudly the first LEED Gold Certified professional football stadium, making it the best choice for this year’s game. It also features Citrix Owner Club Suites, which were constructed from 100% reclaimed wood from an airplane hangar at Moffett Field in Mountain View, CA.
Game day food: As an added bonus to all of the other sustainable goodness, there are vegan food options available. Levi’s Stadium has 32 vegan choices along with the rest of their menu, which also plays its part in reducing the stadium’s carbon footprint. The stadium works with local suppliers to fulfill its farm-to-table menus, and composts and recycles when possible.
Transportation: It is really easy to bike or take mass transit such as a train to get to this venue. There will even be a Fan Express bus service running from San Francisco to Santa Clara on renewable diesel. Its services will provide emission reductions equivalent to taking 10,000 cars off the roads for the game. With one million fans attending, eliminating cars on the road is key for success.
Tip: If you’re going to a game day party, take public transportation if possible or carpool. If you’re flying out to the actual game, pack light and plan ahead for a more sustainable trip. Whether you’re watching the Big Game from the sidelines in Santa Clara, your local sports bar or your living room, your game day activities will emit carbon emissions and deplete water resources. Simply pledge $2 and take pride in knowing that your day is environmentally responsible.