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58th Superbowl held at America’s greenest stadium

Despite the focus of the press being elsewhere, the 58th Superbowl was noteworthy for one particular detail – it was the first title decider played in a stadium powered 100% by renewable energy.

It was back in October, when the Las Vegas Raiders faced the Green Bay Packers, that the Allegiant Stadium first hosted a game under such circumstances. Only three months earlier it had obtained LEED Gold Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

Raiders president Sandra Douglass Morgan said at the time: ‘The Las Vegas Raiders are proud to set the bar in sustainability not only for the NFL but for sports around the world. We have a responsibility to our fans, players, community and planet to tackle sustainability head-on and set a new standard for sustainability in sports. Our reach and impact extend far beyond the game.’

Being based in Nevada, it is no surprise that solar is the stadium’s power source of choice and a deal with NV Energy, owners of a solar farm with more than 621,000 panels, provides it with all of its occasionally huge, energy demands. 

The Allegiant Stadium will use over 10 megawatts of power for the Super Bowl over five hours, enough to power 46,000 homes.

The supply of energy is not the only nod to sustainability that the owners of the stadium can be proud of. A mission statement reads: ‘Allegiant Stadium is committed to developing sustainable policies and constantly improving on these efforts through waste diversion, energy optimization, water reduction, connecting to the local community’s eco-efforts, and actively engaging team members and guests in sustainable practices.’

It is the first NFL Stadium to have an onsite biomass machine which can process 650lb of food scraps, paper products and grass clippings in 24 hours. Such a quantity is processed down to 10 – 15% of its initial volume and turned into biomass that gets combined with general soil to create compost for plants. 

The stadium also has a dedicated team that sorts rubbish (aka ‘trash’) and diverts it away from the landfill by recycling, composting, reusing, or donating to 20 material streams.

12,000lb of food waste is collected at every major event and sent to a local livestock farm for animal feed.

Even cigarette stubs are collected from external bins and used as an energy source: it is claimed that 69,782 Watts of energy have been created this way – enough, we are told, to charge 13,955 phones for an hour.

One of the most prominent energy efficient features of the Stadium is its roof which is composed of ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluorethylene), a recyclable material which provides benefits of climate adaptability, insulation performance and a longevity.

The list of creditable initiatives at Allegiant Stadium is long and impressive. Water efficiency, cycle paths around the the exterior of the stadium, green landscaping and a long list of education programmes and community-focussed events.

Of course, while this might have the most environmentally friendly Superbowl stadium yet, the number of  private jets heading out of  Las Vegas within hours of  Patrick Mahomes’ match winning drive will have gone some way to redressing the balance.  

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