For the Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona this past weekend, there was only one sure bet: the fact that it was powered by renewable energy.
For the fourth time in just three years, a major professional sports championship came down to teams that share investment in clean, dependable solar energy, according to a new analysis conducted by the SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Assn.), www.seia.org, Washington, D.C.
The “Solar Super Bowl” has been a shining a light on solar capacity. The Bowl contenders, New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, have stadiums that rank fifth and sixth among all sports franchises in installed solar capacity. Add this to last year’s World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals, which also featured “solar champions,” as well as the 2013 World Series—pairing the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals—and Super Bowl XLVI between the Patriots and New York Giants in 2012.
More and more sports teams and organizations are making significant investments in solar energy because it makes sense—from both an economic and environmental standpoint, said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch.
The research supports a major solar sports trend. According to SEIA’s analysis, 25 stadiums, arenas, and raceways in 12 states—which are home to 27 professional sports teams—now have either a solar photovoltaic or solar hot water system, with construction underway at two additional stadiums. And today, all leading sports leagues in the United States, including professional football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, NASCAR, and the IndyCar Series, boast sizeable solar assets. To put that into perspective, last year nearly 30 million sports fans attended events across the U.S. at facilities powered by the sun.
The Super Bowl participants, the Patriots and Seahawks, have a combined solar capacity of 1,800 kilowatts (kW) at Gillette Stadium and CenturyLink Field, respectively—not far behind the NFL leading Philadelphia Eagles at 3,000 (kW) and Washington Redskins at 2,000 (kW).
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