Sports: How green is that Cup?


Baseball season has wound down, football season's revving up, and in my hometowns of Detroit, MI, and Zurich, Ontario, people are practically kicking their own nuts off over the upcoming hockey season. In that spirit, Brendan I. Koerner of Slate published this nifty little breakdown yesterday of the amount of energy spectator sports consume.

Good thing we have public transport, but what's blowing into the Bay?

Given that PG&E totally greenfucked AT&T park over earlier this year by claiming to charitably install massive solar panels that would save the park millions (which turned out only to provide enough energy for 40 homes) and then announced that rate-payers would actually foot the bill, it's interesting to note that, as Koerner points out, the energy consumption required to keep those Jumbotrons flashing and that nacho cheese melted in many major stadiums is relatively little (about 1.35 pounds of carbon emission per fan per game -- the average American is responsible for around 65 pounds a day). The REAL energy burn comes with people driving to and from the stadium for games. A typical 78,000-person football stadium requires the emission of 232.84 metric tons of carbon dioxide just for people to get there and back home. Eek!

Koerner says that hockey and basketball are the lowest energy hogs, because those sports have shorter seasons, that football is slightly worse because it, too, has relatively infrequent games -- but that baseball is the biggest hog over the long haul because it puts on the most games (and, I would argue, does it over the summer, when people are more prone to drive to see a game.)


Koerner won't even consider NASCAR for, as he writes, "any sport that centers around vehicles that get four to six miles per gallon is obviously pretty far from green." Are you listening, Nextel Cup?

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