The Super Bowl is an icon of American culture. This year’s big game(Super Bowl LI) will be held on February 5 at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Super Bowl determines the champion of the National Football League and is played between the winners of the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference.
The Super Bowl draws an incredible amount of passion from its millions of fans. Advertisers capitalize on that by purchasing outlandishly priced ad spots. A 30-second Super Bowl advertisement costs around $5 million. Advertisers consider the expense worth it because of the access it gives them to the 100 million people who watch the event worldwide.
Because the Super Bowl is so huge, it requiresan outsize amount of energy to stage it. The three components of the Super Bowl that consume the most power are the TV coverage, the live audience considerations (stadium lighting and climate control), and travel (people traveling to the game, either by car or by plane).
Television viewers, too, eat up plenty of energy. It is estimated that around 30 million people worldwide watch the five-hour coverage of the Super Bowl. Standard TV sets use an average of 100 watt-hours, but during the Super Bowl, people watch on the biggest and the brightest TV screens available. Thus, the average consumption is closer to 125 watt-hours or 1.25 kWh of electricity.
The 30 million TV viewing households worldwide will consume around 37.5 GWh. That is not the end of the electrical consumption for TV viewers, though. They will be using air conditioning and refrigerators and other appliances and gadgets as they watch the game. If we add those uses to the mix, the total electrical consumption just for watching the Super Bowl on TV will rise to 75 GWh. At the average cost of $0.11 per kWh, the grand total will ascend to $8,250,000.
The energy consumption at the football stadium will generate more staggering figures. Although stadium lighting and climate control are efficient, the energy consumption estimate is about 50 MWh for the game, or a total of $5,500.
Transporting around 80,000 people to and from the stadium will involve significant fuel. Players and spectators will be flying to and from the game’s host city.Others will drive. The exact amount of energy usage is too difficult to calculate because origin cities are unknown.
In total, the Super Bowl is estimated to cost around $25 million in energy, but most any American will tell you that it is well worth the expense.