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2024 Super Bowl was first to be powered by renewable energy

The biggest game in American sports has dominated headlines and timelines this weekend. But a surprising revelation about the Super Bowl’s sustainability initiatives has got people talking. 

As the most-watched sporting event in the US, the Super Bowl has some staggeringly unsustainable statistics attached to it.

From the gross overproduction and consumption of game-day cuisine, to the high-profile and high-emission journeys of its guests, the big game is certainly accountable for a huge amount of environmental warfare.

But, somewhat surprisingly, this year’s Super Bowl has strived to be different, and may just have had its ‘greenest’ year to date – or so it would have you believe.

USA Today reported that the 2024 Super Bowl was the first to be fully powered by renewable energy, after the host stadium made a deal with a solar farm.

More than 621,000 solar panels found and reclaimed from the Nevada desert helped power the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, which, according to their website, is 100% ‘powered by Nevada-sourced renewable energy’.

To put that into perspective, for an event on the scale of the Super Bowl, solar panels must produce 10 megawatts, enough to power 46,000 homes.

But critics have been quick to point out the irony of celebrating a supposedly green Super Bowl while ignoring the glaring environmental footprint of the event itself.

Earlier this week, it was reported that an eye-watering 700 million chickens were slaughtered to provide the chicken wings favoured as a game day snack by Americans.

Besides the staggering amount of food that equates to, the emissions that go into producing chicken wings on that scale is difficult to fathom.

On top of that, a lot of conversation has surrounded the travel tactics of those attending the Super Bowl, namely Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce’s girlfriend Taylor Swift. The use of private jets by the big-name celebrities attending the game will have undoubtedly outweighed any positive impact from greener energy sources.

There’s also the extravagant parties, single-use plastics, and lavish excess of food and drink that contrast any sustainability message purported by the use of renewable energy.

The use of solar power on such a large and public scale is a significant milestone for a sporting event on this scale, and even the most symbolic of gestures as important for raising awareness and driving change.

Arguably, it doesn’t help anyone to be pedantic about environmental efforts, when each and every act counts in the fight against climate change.

However, it’s equally important to call out greenwashing for what it is. And the danger that this message of renewable energy will overshadow the damaging impacts of the Super Bowl is very prevalent.


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True sustainability requires more than just switching to renewable energy for one day out of the year. If anything, the Super Bowl should be using their ultra-expensive advertising slots to educate global audiences about environmental causes and solutions.

While the Super Bowl’s shift to renewable energy represents a commendable stride towards sustainability, it also serves as a reminder of the complex challenges we face in addressing climate change. Transitioning to clean energy is undeniably crucial, but it’s only one piece of the problem.

To truly foster change, we need to confront the system issues that perpetuate environmental degradation on a global scale. This means reimagining our approach to consumption, challenging the culture of excess that pervades events like the Super Bowl, and holding corporations accountable for their environmental footprint.

In the end, the Super Bowl’s foray into renewable energy serves as both a cause for celebration and a call to action. It reminds us that while progress may be incremental, it is within our reach if we are willing to confront the hard truths and make the necessary changes.

Afterall, sustainability is not just a buzzword – nor is it a commercial opportunity. It is, ultimately, a guiding principle for how we live and interact with the planet.