The Super Bowl is just two days away!! This Sunday, the Patriots will face off against the Rams in Atlanta in front of millions of fans. With such a massive event, you would expect massive consumption to go along with it, and in many ways, that is exactly correct. For instance, Super Bowl Sunday falls second on the list of largest food consumption days, only being surpassed by Thanksgiving. In 2015, when the Broncos took victory over the Panthers, it was expected that 1.3 billion wings, 11.2 million pounds of chips, and 12 million slices of pizza from one chain alone would be consumed. These numbers were up from years before, and it seems as though that trend has continued. According to some groups, Americans will consume 325.5 million gallons of beer. While I’m extremely skeptical of that number, 325.5 cans seems far more realistic, you can rest assured that the number is massive either way you spin it.
I was under the assumption that energy consumption, like food and beverage, would be through the roof during the game. I picture the massive stadium lights, monitors, scoreboards, heating and air conditioning, combined with all the home TV’s, lights, radios, and crockpots going non-stop all day. The opposite is actually the case though, and the reason comes down to being social. Some lucky onlookers will watch from the stands, some from public venues showing the game, while others will be attending or throwing Super Bowl parties, but, if history serves, a relatively small number will be watching from the privacy of their own couch. The Super Bowl being overwhelmingly a community event serves as a sort of carpool lane for energy usage. On an average day, people are at their respective homes by themselves, save for immediate family, for the most part. During the game though, we gather together in central locations and watch as a group. This causes electricity use to plummet as soon as the game heats up. Even in the case of people staying home, it’s likely that multiple devices will be in use on a regular weekend day, whereas during the game, one main device is typically in use, which still leads to a dip in consumption.
Don’t be fooled, large stadiums still consume huge amounts of energy. The American Airlines Center came under fire a few years ago for the amount of energy used during events, during the Super Bowl energy use is still offset during the big game, but it is something to keep in mind. This year, Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium is doing even more to bring consumption down with the help of wind, sun, and Anheuser Busch. Quest Renewables, a company out of Georgia, has outfitted the stadium with solar panels on the carports which will feed back into the power grid and allow Georgia to rely less on fossil fuels. Anheuser Busch purchased renewable energy credits through the Thunder Ranch Wind Project and has gifted them to the Atlanta Super Bowl committee to aid in their effort to be the greenest sports arena in the world. This push, combined with all around lower consumption on the day of, could make future Super Bowl Sundays some of the most energy efficient days.