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© 2018 Sport Ecology Group

Carbon dioxide emissions of spectators’ transportation (2018)

The carbon footprint is a term used to refer to the total amount of CO2 emissions that are generated by a product, activity, or population. Sport events are known to have large carbon footprints due to the high energy usage of the event, high waste, and travel. The most significant contributor to overall CO2 emissions at sporting events is transport.

This study explored carbon emissions (CO2 emissions) vis-a-vis three research questions: 1) How do CO2 emissions differ in an on-campus collegiate football event (i.e. in a high-density area) versus an off-campus collegiate football event (i.e. held in a low-density area)? 2) How do CO2 emissions by transportation mode differ in an on-CFE versus an off-CFE? and 3) How do CO2 emissions by miles traveled groups differ in an on-CFE versus an off-CFE?

Data were collected through face-to-face interviews at one on-campus football game, and one off-campus football game.

Findings show: - At on-campus events, 60% of spectators carpooled and 23% used an eco-friendly mode of transportation, e.g., bike, longboard, or walk, with zero CO2 emissions. The results for the off-CFE indicated that 91% of spectators carpooled or used a car service to attend the event and 9% used buses (none walked or biked). - In terms of miles traveled by spectators, at the on-campus event, 66% traveled 0-20 miles, 2% traveled 20-40 miles, and 43% traveled 60-80 miles. For the off-campus event, 47% traveled 20-40 miles, and 43% traveled >80 miles. - Overall, the mean CO2 emissions per spectator for the on-campus event was 12.67 kg, and for the off-campus event it was 4.46 kg. - In terms of transportation CO2 emissions, this study shows that off-CFE can have lower emissions.


CITE: Triantafyllidis, S., Ries, R. J., & Kaplanidou, K. (2018). Carbon dioxide emissions of spectators’ transportation in collegiate sporting events: Comparing on-campus and off-campus stadium locations. Sustainability, 10(241), 1–18.

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