This year’s Super Bowl may just become a super-polluting event.
Some 1,000 private jets are expected to fly into Las Vegas for the big game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. And while that may be good from an economic standpoint, with all of those people spending their money in Sin City, it’s not so great from a climate one.
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“The emissions levels of a mega-event like this from air traffic, and the energy use is at least double in a day than it would be on average,” Benjamin Leffel, an assistant professor of public policy sustainability at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told the Times.
The influx of private planes isn’t unprecedented: The Super Bowl is consistently one of the most well-attended events in the United States, drawing the who’s who of American culture and business. But this year is expected to be an even bigger affair than usual (with the ticket prices to match). Last year, for example, just 562 private planes flew into airports around Glendale, Arizona, where the big game was being held. And in 2022, 752 such jets came into Los Angeles to watch some football.
This year, the Super Bowl is anticipated to attract some 450,000 visitors, according to The New York Times. And a good deal of those people will be flying in style, similar to what happened in November during the Las Vegas Grand Prix. That event saw 927 business jets arrive in Vegas’s three area airports, and a spokesperson for the Clark County Department of Aviation, which oversees Sin City, told the Times that they’re expecting a similar level of fly-ins this weekend. (Perhaps Taylor Swift will be on one of those planes . . .)
Some Vegas residents aren’t too pleased about the increase. Jaime Brousse, one such local, told the newspaper that she could notice a difference during the Grand Prix—both in the amount of planes flying over and in their effect on the atmosphere.
“It’s easy to see the layer of smog sitting over the city,” she said. “I know most of that is from cars, but you can’t help but think that all those private jets probably aren’t helping.”
Las Vegas has always been a city for high-rollers, and now it’s one for high-flyers, too.
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