In an essay about energy poverty in her country, the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, made a claim that Cowboys Stadium uses more electricity than her country of 3.7 million.
Globally, at least 1.2 billion people — nearly a fifth of the planet — lives without access to electricity, according to the World Bank. The highest concentration is in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 550 million people do not have electricity. Cowboys Stadium near Dallas, Texas, uses more electricity than the total installed capacity of my country. Small businesses in Liberia spend about 57 percent of their operational costs on power alone. At this rate, it is impossible for them to do much more than break even. And this is representative of the scale of the problem in many countries across the African continent.
That’s quite an astonishing claim, so football fan and energy analyst Bob Brackett decided to crunch the numbers. Here are the results via The Wall Street Journal.
During moments of peak demand on game day, the 80,000-seat stadium may consume up to 10 megawatts of electricity, Bernstein said. Liberia has the capacity to pump less than a third as much power into its national grid.
But with only eight games played at the stadium during regular season, peak demand levels aren’t reflective of how much electricity the stadium uses over an entire month or year. In other words, Cowboys Stadium might use more electricity than Ms. Sirleaf’s country for a few hours eight days out of the year, but it stands empty for most of the rest of the remainder.
“Liberia consumes an order of magnitude more electricity than Dallas Stadium overall,” Mr. Brackett writes. “But considering 32 teams in the NFL, professional football (not to mention professional sports) beats Liberia.”
There you have it, just on game days does the world’s largest air conditioned sporting venue use more electricity than the West African country of Liberia. Still alarming to say the least.