It’s Super Bowl Weekend! That means a few things…. Multi-million dollar commercials, debate about deflated balls, large portions of chip dip, and football-shaped everything. There’s also a football game at some point. Oh, and solar! Don’t forget about solar!

A welcome change to the expected Super Bowl weekend dialogue this year has been a story about renewable energy. Both teams, the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, are proud owners of solar stadiums, two of the largest sport franchise solar installations in operation today. The term “Solar Bowl” is floating around the internet, and it couldn’t be more appropriate.

Large sports arenas obviously use a lot of energy. The continuing trend of more and more sports franchises taking steps to invest in clean, smart, and reliable solar energy is a huge step in our fight for renewable energy nationwide. Here in Florida, the Miami Heat’s American Airlines Arena just announced plans to retrofit the existing structure to add a large solar pavilion themselves! Positive solar stories like this continue to develop across the country.

The Solar Energy Industries Association recently published the first ever analysis of the use of solar in American professional sports, and their findings are impressive. The analysis covered the use of solar by the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, NASCAS, and IndyCar and found that the total cumulative capacity in pro sports arenas and stadiums was 21.7 megawatts as of 2014. In residential terms, that’s enough solar energy to power almost 3,000 homes in America. These sports solar installations offset nearly 20,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Of course, since the very heart of sports is competition, SEIA also published a ranking of all the sports facilities, rated by total cumulative capacity in kilowatts. Firmly in first place by a large margin is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a total cumulative capacity of 9,000 kW, or 9 megawatts. You can download the full rankings in PDF version HERE.

As you’ll notice on the rankings, the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium is currently in 5th place, with the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field right behind them in 6th. This means one thing; regardless of which team you are rooting for, GO SOLAR is cheer worth shouting from the rooftops, no pun intended 😉

May the best team win, and Happy Solar Bowl!