Recently in the news the National Football League (NFL) has confirmed that football is in fact linked to the chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a brain disease that results from receiving many blows to the head. This disease leads to deterioration of brain functions that can lead to death. A number was thrown around that scared the league. This number was that if 10% of mothers in the United States pulled or prevented their kids from playing football at a young age or at any age this could spell doom for the NFL. A league which constantly needs a slew of fresh bodies to play the games that captivate millions. What would happen if the NFL was no more? Lets say in a very dark and bleak future there is no football. How much energy is saved and carbon reduced when we aren’t running mega stadiums every Sunday or having millions of people commute to watch them?

In the NFL there are 32 two teams that call home to 31 stadiums, 31 because two teams share the same stadium. Each stadium requires a huge amount of energy to be run on any given football Sunday. The average stadium will use about 65,000 kilowatt hours of electricity for each game that is played (Koerner, 2016). A football season spans 16 games. In these sixteen games a team either plays at home or on the road at another team’s stadium. So we can say that roughly in one football season a total of 512 stadiums are ran. This means in one season the NFL uses about \(65,000\text{ kilowatt hours}\times 512=33,280,000\text { kilowatt hours}\). To run an average American home for one month requires 911 kwh. This means that if we didn’t have the NFL we could power about 37,000 homes for one month.

\[ 33,280,000\text{ kilowatt hours}\times\frac{1\text{ home per month}}{911\text{ kilowatt hours}}\approx37000\text{ homes per month}\]

And for a one year we could power about 3000 homes.

\[ 33,280,000\text{ kilowatt hours}\times\frac{1\text{ home per year}}{10,932\text{ kilowatt hours}}\approx3000\text{ homes per year}\]

An average NFL season also produces a lot of carbon. These sources of carbon come from not only the stadiums themselves but from the thousand of people who drive to watch these events live and in person. On average around 232.84 metric tons of carbon dioxide are release by these thousands of fan commuting to the games ( koerner, 2009). When we look at the total number of times all of the stadiums need to be run (512) and the average amount of carbon dioxide produced for each game we get about 120238.08 metric tons of carbon.

\[234.84\text{ metric tons of carbon dioxide}\times512\approx120238.08\text{ metric tons of carbon}\]

The NFL is huge and to run the games that captivate millions it takes tons of electricity and produces tons of carbon. These numbers only get bigger as you look at other sports where the games range in the 30 to 80 range. So when thinking about how much energy is wasted for favorite football team to play just know it gets worst.

References

Koerner, Brendan. “Which Spectator Sport Is Best for the Environment?” *Slate*. Slate, 9 Apr. 2009. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.

Belson, Ken. “Water Waste: Going, Going …” *The New York Times*. The New York Times, 07 Oct. 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.

Galluci, Maria. “The Super Bowl Is An Energy-Guzzling, Carbon-Emitting Machine; Here’s What The NFL Is Doing About It.” *International Business Times*. International Business Times, 30 Jan. 2015. Web. 25 Mar. 2016

U.S. Energy Information Administration – EIA – Independent Statistics and Analysis.” *How Much Electricity Does an American Home Use?* N.p., 21 Oct. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.