Top 10s

Top 50 Solar Stadiums Worldwide (2018 World Cup Edition)


22 June 2018 by Tom van der Linden & Szabolcs Magyari, Solarplaza

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is getting up to steam. This impressive sporting event was as good a reason as any for us to review our Top 50 of solar sports venues across the world and update it with the latest additions.


Solar Stadiums


Right now, on a daily basis, millions and millions of people around the world are tuning in to live broadcasts from a dozen stadiums in Russia, to see football teams from 32 nations battle over the coveted golden trophy of football glory. And the 2018 FIFA World Cup is only just getting up to steam. 

This impressive sporting event was as good a reason as any for us to review our Top 50 of solar sports venues across the world and update it with the latest additions.


Imagine a stadium. A humongous building, requiring excessive amounts of energy. Everything, from the stadium lights to the hot dog stands, slurps up electricity. And then envision those large surfaces on top of stadium rings, training facilities and sports grounds infrastructure. Excellent opportunities for solar applications abound! It’s no wonder then, that already since the early nineties - but increasingly so since the late ‘00s - more and more sports venues are turning towards solar energy to power their facilities. Stadium and venue management opts for the utilization of PV and other solar technology as a result of a conscious and economic decision. The cost of installing and operating solar panels have dropped so sharply that the economic benefits significantly outweigh the costs.

But there’s more to it than economics. Sports, due to their ability to reach enormous number of fans worldwide, have long been important platforms for value promotion. Globally, the concepts of sustainability and energy efficiency have become the subject of increased focus lately. An ever-growing number of sports venues have taken on the use of solar energy in an attempt to improve the sustainable profile of their power generation.

In many cases, the solarization of stadiums and other sport venues was achieved through wide-scale initiatives. One of the largest initiative of this sort was the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to include environmental protection measures (Green Programs —“the third pillar of Olympics games”) as one of the requirements for a successful bid to host the Games. PV systems and heat collectors have been popular renewable energy technologies that have been used both in olympic stadiums and in the supporting facilities.


Solar Stadium Blueprint


Another significant organization - and here we loop back to the beloved World Cup Football - has been the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). One of the main drivers for the ingegration of solar energy into European stadium infrastructure, a concept also referred to as Solar Stadia, was when FIFA started the “Green Goal” program as a way to specifically address environmental concerns. The program was created in 2003 but its first debut was not until the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and the 2008 UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Cup in Switzerland.

Solar has increasingly been part of the World & Euro Cup landscape. Major solar companies like Yingli Solar & Jinko Solar have been profiling themselves as sponsors of football, but one of the most eye catching and convincing case-makers are those shiny blue and black panels on top of the stadiums. During the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, 5 out of the 12 venues were solar-powered stadiums (and 1 other solar powered stadium was used in the qualifying matches). 

All the more regrettable, however, to see how solar energy hasn’t qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, as none of the Russian stadiums make use of renewables for their power supply. Let’s hope that Qatar will make better efforts for the 2022 World Cup they’re hosting! Thinking of all those air conditioned stadiums in the desert, one would seriously hope they’ll deploy some solar panels to supply some of that intense power usage.

So before we dive into the Top 50 Global Sports Venues, let's first take a detailed look at Football stadiums around the world.


Solar Football Stadiums Top 20

# Name Size (kWp) Team Sport* Location Country Year # panels
1 Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha 2,500 Brasília and Legião Futebol Clube Football Brasília, DF Brazil 2013 9,600
2 Rio Tinto Stadium 2,020 Real Salt Lake Football Sandy, Utah USA 2015 6,500
3 Mineirao 1,420 Cruzeiro, Atlético Mineiro Football Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais Brazil 2014 6,000
4 Antalya Arena 1,400 Antalyaspor Football Antalya Turkey 2015 5,600
5 Stade de Suisse 1,350 BSC Young Boys Football Bern Switzerland 2005 8,000
6 Allianz Riviera 1,342 OGC Nice Football Nice France 2013 4,000
7 Weser stadium 1,270 Werder Bremen Football Bremen Germany 2011 200,000 (cells)
8 Johan Cruijff Arena 1,128 Ajax Football Amsterdam The Netherlands 2014 4,200
9 Itaipava Arena Pernambuco 1,000 Clube Náutico Capibaribe Football São Lourenço da Mata, Pernambuco Brazil 2014 3,650
10 Bentegodi-stadion 1,000 Hellas Verona and ChievoVerona Football Verona Italy 2009 13,300
11 Signal Iduna Park 924 Borussia Dortmund Football Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia Germany 2011 9,000
12 Galgenwaard 817 FC Utrecht Football Utrecht The Netherlands 2017 3,400
13 Kyocera stadion 725 ADO Den Haag Football The Hague The Netherlands 2014 2,900
14 Steigerwaldstadion 724 FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt Football Erfurt Germany 2016
15 Fonte Nova Arena 500 Esporte Clube Bahia Football Salvador, Bahia Brazil 2014
16 Estadio do Maracana 400 Fluminense Football Club Football Rio de Janeiro Brazil 2013 1,556
17 Euroborg 273 FC Groningen Football Groningen The Netherlands 2014 1,100
18 Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto 260 Liga Deportiva Alajuelense Football Alajuela Costa Rica 2015 864
19 Schwarzwald-Stadion 259 SC Freiburg Football Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg Germany 1995
20 AFAS Stadion 245 AZ Football Alkmaar The Netherlands 2015 1,725


Solar Stadium - Antalya

Antalya Arena - Antalya


Global Top 50

# Name Size (kWp) Team Sport* Location Country Year # panels
1 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 9,000 - Car / motor racing Speedway, Indiana USA 2014 39,312
2 TT circuit Assen 5,600 - Car / motor racing Assen The Netherlands 2016 21,000
3 Lincoln Financial Field 3,000 Philadelphia Eagles American Football Philadelphia USA 2010 11,000
4 Pocono Raceway 3,000 - Car / motor racing Blakeslee, Pennsylvania USA 2010 39,960
5 Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha 2,500 Brasília and Legião Futebol Clube Football Brasília, DF Brazil 2013 9,600
6 Eissport- and Fussballarena Tissot 2,100 Icehockey and Footballclub Biel-Bienne + others Ice Hockey / Football Biel/Bienne Switzerland 2015 7,000
7 Rio Tinto Stadium 2,020 Real Salt Lake Football Sandy, Utah USA 2015 6,500
8 FedEx Field 2,000 Washington Redskins American Football Landover, Maryland USA 2011 8,000
9 Mineirao 1,420 Cruzeiro, Atlético Mineiro Football Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais Brazil 2014 6,000
10 Antalya Arena 1,400 Antalyaspor Football Antalya Turkey 2015 5,600
11 Stade de Suisse 1,350 BSC Young Boys Football Bern Switzerland 2005 8,000
12 Thialf Ice Arena 1,350 - Ice Skating Heerenveen The Netherlands 2016 5,000
13 Allianz Riviera 1,342 OGC Nice Football Nice France 2013 4,000
14 Mercedes-Benz Stadium 1,300 Atlanta Falcons American Football Atlanta, Georgia USA 2017 4,000
15 Weser stadium 1,270 Werder Bremen Football Bremen Germany 2011 200,000 (cells)
16 Johan Cruijff Arena 1,128 Ajax Football Amsterdam The Netherlands 2014 4,200
17 National Stadium (Kaohsiung) 1,000 - Other / not specified Kaohsiung Taiwan 2009 8,844
18 Thyagraj Stadium 1,000 - Other / not specified New Delhi India 2010
19 Itaipava Arena Pernambuco 1,000 Clube Náutico Capibaribe Football São Lourenço da Mata, Pernambuco Brazil 2014 3,650
20 Gilette Stadium 1,000 New England Patriots American Football Foxborough, Massachussetts USA 2012
21 Bentegodi-stadion 1,000 Hellas Verona and ChievoVerona Football Verona Italy 2009 13,300
22 Signal Iduna Park 924 Borussia Dortmund Football Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia Germany 2011 9,000
23 Galgenwaard 817 FC Utrecht Football Utrecht The Netherlands 2017 3,400
24 CenturyLink Field 800 Seattle Seahawks American Football Seattle, Washington USA 2011 3,750
25 Kyocera stadion 725 ADO Den Haag Football The Hague The Netherlands 2014 2,900
26 Steigerwaldstadion 724 FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt Football Erfurt Germany 2016
27 TD Bank Ballpark 515 Somerset Patriots Baseball Bridgewater Township, New Jersey USA 2013 3,456
28 Fonte Nova Arena 500 Esporte Clube Bahia Football Salvador, Bahia Brazil 2014
29 Wells Fargo Arena 497 Arizona State Sun Devils American Football Tempe, Arizona USA 2011 2,072
30 Pituaçu 403 - Other / not specified Salvador, Bahia Brazil 2012
31 M. Chinnaswammy stadium 400 Royal Challengers Bangalore Other / not specified Bangalore India 2015 1,422
32 Estadio do Maracana 400 Fluminense Football Club Football Rio de Janeiro Brazil 2013 1,556
33 Levi’s Stadium 375 San Francisco 49ers American Football Santa Clara, California USA 2014 1,162
34 Safeco Field 368 Seattle Mariners Baseball Seattle, Washington USA 2012
35 Staples Center 364 LA Kings Basketball Los Angeles, California USA 2013 1,727
36 Sonoma Raceway 354 - Car / motor racing Sonoma, California USA 2013 1,652
37 Townsville RSL Stadium 348 Townsville fire Other / not specified Annandale, Towsnville Australia 2012 1,800
38 Petco Park 336 San Diego Padres Baseball San Diego, California USA 2018 716
39 Metlife Stadium 314 New York Jets American Football East Rutherford, New Jersey USA 2012 1,350
40 De Meent IJsbaan 305 - Other / not specified Alkmaar The Netherlands 2015
41 The Hangar (Clear Channel Stadium) 300 Lancaster JetHawks Baseball Lancaster, California USA 2010 1,500
42 Euroborg 273 FC Groningen Football Groningen The Netherlands 2014 1,100
43 Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto 260 Liga Deportiva Alajuelense Football Alajuela Costa Rica 2015 864
44 Schwarzwald-Stadion 259 SC Freiburg Football Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg Germany 1995
45 AFAS Stadion 245 AZ Football Alkmaar The Netherlands 2015 1,725
46 Talking Stick Resort Arena 227 Phoenix Suns Basketball Phoenix, Arizona USA 2012 966
47 NRG Stadium 221 Houston Texans American Football Houston, Texas USA 2015 600
48 Avaya Stadium 220 San Jose Earthquakes Football San Jose, California USA 2015 882
49 Carrara football stadium 220 Gold Coast Suns Football Carrara, Queensland Australia 2011 600
50 Oracle Arena 164 Golden State Warriors Basketball Oakland, California USA 2010 537


Solar Stadiums by Location

Figure 1: An overview of the list of Top 50 solar venues based on location.


Our Top 50 list of solar venues spans across the entire globe, though some regions clearly provided more contributions than others (Figure 1). North America, home to nearly half of the listed venues, has proven to be largest solar sports superpower. Europe, not far behind the leader, counts 16 of the largest solarized sports venues. The main European countries with the largest solar-powered solar venues are the Netherlands and Germany counting 8 and 4 venues respectively. South America claims third place with 7 venues and Asia follows with 5. Oceania, with a stadium located in Australia, is home to 1 of the 50 venues.


Solar Stadiums by Sport

Figure 2: An overview of the list of Top 50 solar venues based on sport disciplines.


The timeliness of solar applications for sports venues is clearly indicated in Figure 3. Before 2008, only 2 venues made it to the list whereas the period between 2010 and 2015 witnessed the commissioning of 80% of all venues. Although 2016, 2017 and 2018 have been somewhat slower than expected, the attractivity for venues to utilize solar energy as a way to increase sustainability and provide an economic cushion for expenses will surely drive further growth in this sector.


Solar Stadiums by Year

Figure 3: Sports venues with installed solar systems per year between 1995 and 2018.


Stadium Nice

Allianz Riviera - Nice (Photo: Miläne Servelle)


Top 15 EU

# Name Size (kWp) Team Sport* Location Country Year # panels
1 TT circuit Assen 5,600 - Car / motor racing Assen The Netherlands 2016 21,000
2 Eissport- and Fussballarena Tissot 2,100 Icehockey and Footballclub Biel-Bienne + others Ice Hockey / Football Biel/Bienne Switzerland 2015 7,000
3 Stade de Suisse 1,350 BSC Young Boys Football Bern Switzerland 2005 8,000
4 Thialf Ice Arena 1,350 - Ice Skating Heerenveen The Netherlands 2016 5,000
5 Allianz Riviera 1,342 OGC Nice Football Nice France 2013 4,000
6 Weser stadium 1,270 Werder Bremen Football Bremen Germany 2011 200,000 (cells)
7 Johan Cruijff Arena 1,128 Ajax Football Amsterdam The Netherlands 2014 4,200
8 Bentegodi-stadion 1,000 Hellas Verona and ChievoVerona Football Verona Italy 2009 13,300
9 Signal Iduna Park 924 Borussia Dortmund Football Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia Germany 2011 9,000
10 Galgenwaard 817 FC Utrecht Football Utrecht The Netherlands 2017 3,400
11 Kyocera stadion 725 ADO Den Haag Football The Hague The Netherlands 2014 2,900
12 Steigerwaldstadion 724 FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt Football Erfurt Germany 2016
13 De Meent IJsbaan 305 - Other / not specified Alkmaar The Netherlands 2015
14 Euroborg 273 FC Groningen Football Groningen The Netherlands 2014 1,100
15 Schwarzwald-Stadion 259 SC Freiburg Football Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg Germany 1995


European solar venues

Europe, home to some of the best sports teams across many disciplines, has been instrumental in the quest to promote sustainability. Considering the popularity of football in comparison to virtually any other sport, it comes as no surprise that the majority of our Top 15 European solar venues have, are connected with football (soccer) while also featuring car racing and ice skating venues.

The solar venue sector has certainly come a long way since the first reported instance a stadium was added solar panels to it in Europe. With the addition of a 259 kWp power capacity PV generators on its rooftop, the Badenova-Stadio (Mage Solar Stadio), located in Freiburg, Germany has started a trend that would catch on years later all across Europe.

Many of the venues that are registered in the European Top 15 list are home to teams playing in the best professional football divisions. These divisions include the Eredivisie, Ligue 1, Bundesliga and Serie A which are top football divisions in the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy.

The title for the sports venue with largest solar capacity went for the TT circuit in Assen, Netherlands. The car and motor racing venue harvests the sun through its 21,000 installed solar panels that together account for a peak capacity of whooping 5,600 kWp. The second largest venue with a considerably lower solar capacity is the BSC Young Boys’ stadium in Bern, Switzerland. This solar system’s capacity amounted to 1,350 kWp and consisted off 8,000 panels.

Mounting solar panels on or nearby stadiums is not the only way for venues to make themselves more sustainable. As a result of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with English investor giant Octopus Energy, Arsenal has become the first team in the Premier League to be 100% sustainable in their energy consumption. By completely sourcing its energy from renewable sources, the Gunners will manage to save 2.32 million kg of carbon dioxide per year, which translates to the equivalent weight of a 183 double-decker buses, or the annual CO2 emissions of 580 fans.

Going green in such a manner, however, no longer requires the monetary concessions many would rightfully assume Arsenal can afford for the sake of being the first. As Greg Jackson, chief executive of Octopus Energy, put it “Green energy is at a tipping point, the technology to create electricity from renewable sources is now so efficient, that we can offer ‘green’ energy to our customers which is cheaper than many ‘non green’ tariffs”.


Stadium Belo Horizonte

Mineirao - Belo Horizonte (Photo: Renato Cobucci/Imprensa-MG)


Top 5 SA

# Name Size (kWp) Team Sport* Location Country Year # panels
1 Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha 2,500 Brasília and Legião Futebol Clube Football Brasília, DF Brazil 2013 9,600
2 Mineirao 1,420 Cruzeiro, Atlético Mineiro Football Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais Brazil 2014 6,000
3 Itaipava Arena Pernambuco 1,000 Clube Náutico Capibaribe Football São Lourenço da Mata, Pernambuco Brazil 2014 3,650
4 Fonte Nova Arena 500 Esporte Clube Bahia Football Salvador, Bahia Brazil 2014
5 Pituaçu 403 - Other / not specified Salvador, Bahia Brazil 2012
6 Estadio do Maracana 400 Fluminense Football Club Football Rio de Janeiro Brazil 2013 1,556
7 Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto 260 Liga Deportiva Alajuelense Football Alajuela Costa Rica 2015 864


Latin American solar venues

Latin America has long been a region with outstanding solar conditions although some countries make use of these assets more than others. Chile is known for having the most developed solar market in the region, however, when it comes to solar venues this title goes to its western neighbor, Brazil. An honorable mention goes out to Costa Rica as well, the only other Latin American country to feature a solar powered stadium. 

Although Brazil’s solar market is not even in the same ballpark as Chile’s, a single event caused Brazil to significantly surpass its South American stadium solarization. Perhaps the most noteworthy effort to increase sustainability came when the privilege to organize the 2014 World Cup was awarded to Rio de Janeiro by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). This move entailed the partial reconstruction of Brazil’s largest football stadiums according to the sustainability guidelines of FIFA.

As a result of the reconstruction, 4 of the 12 football stadiums were amended with solar panels, making Brazil a solar venue superpower. The largest Brazilian venue in terms of its solar capacity is the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha with its 9,600 panels that together make up a solar system with a capacity of 2,500 kWp.

In second place is the Estadio Mineirao, that bears a solar capacity of 1,420 kWp and has been the focus of much attention. This $16m solar innovation doesn’t just power the stadium – it sends energy to the local grid, enough to serve the electricity needs of nearly 1,000 homes per year. Once the redevelopment of the facility was finished, Mineirão became the first stadium in Brazil, second in the World, to receive the LEED Platinum Sustainability Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the highest level of the seal) granted by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) due to management of resources (energy, water, etc.) performed by the building.

(For a detailed and more technical look at the Estadio Mineirao system, be sure to check out this highly detailed study of the system's performance over a year's time in the Energies Open Access Energy Research, Engineering and Policy Journal)


Stadium Philadelphia

Lincoln Financial Field - Philadelphia


Top 25 NA

# Name Size (kWp) Team Sport* Location Country Year # panels
1 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 9,000 - Car / motor racing Speedway, Indiana USA 2014 39,312
2 Lincoln Financial Field 3,000 Philadelphia Eagles American Football Philadelphia USA 2010 11,000
3 Pocono Raceway 3,000 - Car / motor racing Blakeslee, Pennsylvania USA 2010 39,960
4 Rio Tinto Stadium 2,020 Real Salt Lake Football Sandy, Utah USA 2015 6,500
5 FedEx Field 2,000 Washington Redskins American Football Landover, Maryland USA 2011 8,000
6 Mercedes-Benz Stadium 1,300 Atlanta Falcons American Football Atlanta, Georgia USA 2017 4,000
7 Gilette Stadium 1,000 New England Patriots American Football Foxborough, Massachussetts USA 2012
8 CenturyLink Field 800 Seattle Seahawks American Football Seattle, Washington USA 2011 3,750
9 TD Bank Ballpark 515 Somerset Patriots Baseball Bridgewater Township, New Jersey USA 2013 3,456
10 Wells Fargo Arena 497 Arizona State Sun Devils American Football Tempe, Arizona USA 2011 2,072
11 Levi’s Stadium 375 San Francisco 49ers American Football Santa Clara, California USA 2014 1,162
12 Safeco Field 368 Seattle Mariners Baseball Seattle, Washington USA 2012
13 Staples Center 364 LA Kings Basketball Los Angeles, California USA 2013 1,727
14 Sonoma Raceway 354 - Car / motor racing Sonoma, California USA 2013 1,652
15 Petco Park 336 San Diego Padres Baseball San Diego, California USA 2018 716
16 Metlife Stadium 314 New York Jets American Football East Rutherford, New Jersey USA 2012 1,350
17 The Hangar (Clear Channel Stadium) 300 Lancaster JetHawks Baseball Lancaster, California USA 2010 1,500
18 Talking Stick Resort Arena 227 Phoenix Suns Basketball Phoenix, Arizona USA 2012 966
19 NRG Stadium 221 Houston Texans American Football Houston, Texas USA 2015 600
20 Avaya Stadium 220 San Jose Earthquakes Football San Jose, California USA 2015 882
21 Oracle Arena 164 Golden State Warriors Basketball Oakland, California USA 2010 537
22 AT&T Park 120 San Francisco Giants Baseball San Francisco USA 2008 590
23 Chase Field 75 Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Phoenix, Arizona USA 2012 336
24 Kauffman Stadium 28 Kansas City Royals Baseball Kansas City, Missouri USA 2012 120
25 Busch Stadium 25 Saint Louis Cardinals Baseball Saint Louis, Missouri USA 2012 106


North American solar venues

The landscape of solar venues in North America is not very diverse, as all reported cases hail from the United States of America. What is more diverse though, is the number of sports disciplines that have taken on this novel solution to become more sustainable. In the list of our Top 25 solar venues 5 different sports are represented. The list includes the members of the nation’s largest associations such as the NFL, MLS, MLB and NBA.

The largest North American solar venue, which also holds the title for the largest solar venue globally, is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which hosts the Indie 500. The venue is powered by nearly 40,000 solar panels amounting to a capacity of 9,000 kWp.

In second place came the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Lincoln Financial Field a significantly lower but still immense capacity of 3,000 kWp. The stadium’s renewable energy generation system is also equipped with 14 micro wind-turbines and is capable of a combined annual production of more than 4 times the power consumed during a season of home game days.

The third place goes to the Pocono Raceway located in Pennsylvania with almost 40,000 solar panels. This renewable energy capacity coupled with its recycling and tree planting program has made the venue one of the most environmentally conscious tracks in NASCAR.

The total solar venue capacity has come a long way since the first reported case of a professional sports facility installing solar panels on its roof. This pioneering achievement took place in 2007 when the Coors Field (home of the Colorado Rockies) installed a solar system with a capacity of 9.9 kW. Since then professional solar sports installations have grown immensely. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association in United States of America, the total cumulative solar power capacity in professional sports facilities reached 25.4 MWp in 2015 (a growth of 13% by year).

Similarly to the European example, sports venues are entering agreements with local energy providers to receive renewable energy. The Verizon center, home of the Capitals, Wizards, Mystics and Valor, will be provided with solar energy for 25% of its energy needs through a recent partnership with Virginia-based WGL Energy Services.

The spread of venue solarization projects would not only save major league sports millions of dollars in energy costs and cut carbon emissions by thousands of metric tons but may spearhead the solarization of the residential sector as football, baseball, basketball or car racing fans are exposed to the great qualities of this technology through the joyful activity of watching their favorite teams and athletes compete for victory.


Solar energy is on the rise and it is reaching and benefiting sectors that previously had no affiliation with it. The sector of sports venues is yet another field where solar energy is expected to have a disruptive effect and change best practices. Let it be driven by sustainability initiatives or mere economic rationality, more and more venues are pursuing solar energy. Besides the overt benefits of this increase in solar venues, an increasing number of people are being exposed to PV and other solar technologies. Given the ability of sports to influence large crowds towards desirable values, sustainability efforts and with it solar energy sector may benefit considerably from this positive trend in years to come.


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