Cowboys Stadium Uses More Electricity Than Liberia on Game Day

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterSeptember 16, 2013

Sep 8, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the United States flag during the national anthem prior to the game with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants  at AT&T Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Giants 36-31. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Stadium consumes more electricity than Liberia. 

There are of course a great many caveats and specifics behind that claim, but The Wall Street Journal's Ben Lefebvre found just that. 

The Dallas Cowboys have long considered themselves "America's team," despite no national poll being taken. The team annually dominates headlines and media scrutiny, so it makes sense that their stadium would get in on the fun.

It seems the impetus behind this study lies in comments made by Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on her country's scant energy use and how it was dwarfed by a single behemoth building in Texas. Bernstein Research's Bob Brackett apparently heard the claim and decided to test the validity of it. As it turns out, it wasn't so outlandish. 

Here is what they found out about AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium):

During moments of peak demand on game day, the 80,000-seat stadium may consume up to 10 megawatts of electricity. Liberia has the capacity to pump less than a third as much power into its national grid.

For the moment, try to get the image of Dr. Emmett Brown yelling "1.21 gigawatts" out of your head. While you're at it, forget the notion that this is as black and white as AT&T Stadium using as much electricity as a West African country. 

As Lefebvre is careful to point out, the stadium—which is 3 million square feet— only pulls that much electricity at the very peak of its use on game day, with the air conditioners humming and that gigantic scoreboard shining. 

Essentially, we are talking about roughly eight times per season (plus a few more days for bowl games and other high-level events), next to a country consuming electricity around the clock.

To that gray area, Brackett notes, "Liberia consumes an order of magnitude more electricity than Dallas Stadium overall. But considering 32 teams in the NFL, professional football (not to mention professional sports) beats Liberia."

So AT&T Stadium isn't using up a year's supply of electricity normally garnered by one country. They are simply using far more than Liberia does at one time.

An 80,000-seat stadium vs. a nation of about 3.7 million.

It's a fact that is as spectacular and astonishing as any other tidbit from that towering and ostentatious stadium. In a way, it's hardly surprising. 

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