How much energy is needed for Super Bowl LIV?

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The Super Bowl leads to a sharp increase in energy consumption each year.

This weekend has been on every football fan’s calendar for months. Super Bowl LIV is taking place on February 2, 2020 and the big game’s 54th occurrence is one of the most anticipated Super Bowls in recent history. In addition to highly anticipated TV ratings, the Super Bowl will take place in Miami, FL. With the city’s beautiful, warm weather, Miami is expected to attract a larger Super Bowl crowd than usual.

The anticipation for the event directly correlates with increased energy consumption in Miami and all over the country when viewers tune in to watch the Super Bowl. The dramatic increase in energy consumption this weekend could impact state energy rates across the country. But exactly how does the Super Bowl lead to higher energy usage?

The physical energy footprint in Miami:

When thinking about the energy it takes to power the super bowl festivities, there are several factors that are often forgotten. Some of the factors that will influence the energy footprint include:

Influx of visitors:

There’s an estimated 150,000 visitors coming to the Miami area for the Super Bowl this week. This enormous influx of visitors to the already densely populated Miami area automatically increases the energy footprint. From highways to hotels, the sharp increase in the population demands more energy resources to meet the needs of all the Miami inhabitants and the visitors.

Half-time performance:

The halftime performance is a major energy consumer during the Super Bowl. Although many fans tune in to watch the game, the halftime performance attracts an additional separate fan base. The halftime show typically includes a performance by a music megastar, with previous headliners including Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. Millions of fans tune in purely for the musical performance. The massive sound system and extensive light shows that accompany the performance are some of the biggest energy consumers of the Super Bowl evening. 

TV Consumption:

TV sets around the nation will be turned on for the nearly 4 hours it takes for the entirety of the Super Bowl. This time includes the actual game being played, the halftime show, and all the advertisements that will be televised. Generally, when a regular season game is on, viewers might tune in to watch the last quarter or most of the game if it’s a highly anticipated match-up.

The Super Bowl is unique because it’s one of the only few entertainment events where the audience is excited to watch the advertisements. Super Bowl advertisements are renowned for being some of the most creative and entertaining ads that viewers see all year. With this increased watch time from advertisements, the energy consumption for TVs will likely be at an all-time high during 2020.

Normal TV sets consume about 100 watt-hours, but during the Super Bowl the average TV will consume well over 125 watt-hours. This is additionally compounded by all the TVs that are concurrently streaming the Super Bowl, totaling more than 30 million TVs nationwide. The cumulative energy consumption for the Super Bowl just from TVs alone will be more than 40 million gigawatt hours. For context, this is equal to more than 500 million LED light bulbs.

An energy efficient Super Bowl

With the popularity of football at an all-time high, there are several ways future Super Bowls can improve energy efficiency. To optimize efficiency, the NFL could consider the following sustainability initiatives:

Stadium Consumption:

Stadium consumption is one of the most obvious aspects of energy consumption that the NFL can tackle. Switching to energy-efficient LED lights can save millions of gigawatt hours of energy. Optimizing the efficiency of additional aspects, such as heating and AC, the scoreboard and the sound systems, can also reduce the energy footprint.

Decreasing Energy Usage Per Fan:

Lowering the amount of energy each fan uses is one of the most impactful avenues the NFL can take to further sustainability. Simply traveling to the stadium can have a significant impact on the total energy consumption. If the NFL provided buses from parking locations near the stadium, they could reduce the energy footprint while potentially adding an additional stream of revenue.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations:

With many fans switching over to electric vehicles for transport, the NFL could facilitate charging stations for fans. Stadiums nationwide already have made strides to include solar panels to power their energy use, but this extra step can help the NFL go green and be a leader in sustainability in American sports.


Dhoof Mohamed writes about energy and IT topics for various clients. His academic interests include solar energy initiatives and the future of sustainable energy. His articles have appeared on SiteProNews, ChooseFlorida and the office of the U.S. Embassy. You can reach him at