"Everything is bigger in Texas" as the slogan goes on a T-shirt in the fan store of the new Dallas Cowboy's stadium. I couldn't think of how true that statement was in relation to the new stadium's carbon footprint. I recently just got back from a family wedding in Dallas, Texas. During our stay, we toured around the new Dallas Cowboy's stadium as my cousin has always been a big fan. The stadium is set to hold 80,000 people with the ability to expand to a 100,000. The structure is beyond big and resembles the alien aircraft in the 1996 film "Independence Day".
We took a guided tour of the facility which needless to say was jaw-dropping and not in a good way. There seemed to be only one goal of this stadium: to break records. Largest this, the most number of that, tallest this, it was flat out disgusting at the enormity of resources that were wasted to make this structure.
|The Cowboys new stadium|
During the tour, I raised the question, "How much are the utility bills?" The tour guide giggled and said "I'll get to that in a minute". About 5 minutes later he pulled together the large group to announce what seemed like an accomplishment in his eyes. "The stadium averages roughly $200,000 in monthly utility bills," he claims. My brain went wild with figures as I tried to translate that into energy terms. Assuming that the electric bill will be the majority of the purchase i.e. air conditioning, lighting, and equipment, the total amount of energy consumed based on Texas's average commercial $/kWh is 2,036,560 kWh per month, or roughly 24,439,918 kWh per year. To give you some perspective, this is equivalent to the same amount of energy as the city of Santa Monica, CA (Pop. 88,000) uses per year. Why is a stadium that is only used for about 5 hours every other week during the NFL season consuming as much energy as an entire city?