Super Bowl LVIII, held in Las Vegas this year, is a nightmare for climate scientists and activists. From jet travel to water use, the game at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada, will create a carbon footprint equal to the annual one of hundreds if not thousands of average Americans.
The first effect is energy consumption. Electricity is used to power much of Allegiant Stadium and the businesses near it that will benefit from commercial activity. This ranges from hotels to restaurants to parking areas. It also affects energy consumption by viewers who watch on electricity-powered TVs. OwlESG estimates that “In fact, watching the Super Bowl results in the consumption of over 11 million kilowatt-hours of energy. This amount is comparable to the energy needed to power three entire cities just from the TVs tuned in to watch the game.”
The carbon emissions from flights in and out of Las Vegas airports are also considerable. That included team planes, additional commercial flights, and private jet travel. An analysis of private jets alone shows that about 1,000 will take people to and from the four Las Vegas area airports. Taylor Swift’s private flight from Tokyo, where she is performing, to the game and back to Tokyo will equal the average annual carbon footprint of 14 Americans.
Plastic Can Last 500 Years
People at the game will also create garbage waste at a tremendous level. Most of this will be from items purchased from concessions. A portion of this will include plastics that are not biodegradable. Plastic can take as many as 500 years to decompose.
Water waste is another byproduct of the game. This includes several activities at Allegiant Stadium. Some are from concessions. Most of the balance is maintaining the field and running the stadium’s bathrooms. Sanitation work after the game also consumes water.
The final environmentally damaging portion of Super Bowl activity is marketing and advertising, and it is not immediately obvious. The Drum made an estimate. “Super Bowl advertisers generated around 2m tonnes of CO2 through digital advertising. For context, that’s the same amount of carbon emissions produced by around 100,000 Americans in one year.”
The Super Bowl has to be one of the least green events worldwide every year.