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Detroit Lions fans gather at the gates to enter Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Steven King/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions have plans to become the 12th NFL franchise to use solar technology, with installations planned at both Ford Field and their training facility in Allen Park.

The big picture: Over the past three years, solar installations in U.S. sports arenas have steadily increased, according to a new report released by the Solar Energy Industry Association. Their research shows that between the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, MLB and NASCAR, the U.S. collectively has over 46 megawatts of installed solar capacity powering sports facilities, enough to power nearly 8,000 U.S. homes.

The Sacramento Kings lead the pack with 11 megawatts installed in and around the Golden 1 Center, the majority partially offsite at a 10-megawatt solar farm 40 miles away. Golden 1 Center is also the first arena worldwide to be 100% solar powered and has achieved LEED platinum status, the U.S. Green Buildings Council's highest designation. The second U.S. sports arena to achieve this distinction is Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz stadium, home to the Atlanta Falcons (NFL) and Atlanta United (MLS), which has over 4,000 solar panels.

Among sports leagues overall, the NFL leads with solar installations at 32% of arenas, not counting the planned Detroit Lions capacity, followed by the MLB and the NBA at 30% a piece. Boston, home to many world champions, has solar capacity in all major sports arenas.

Why it matters: In 2017, over 42 million people visited U.S. sports arenas. As renewable energy becomes more commonplace, seeing solar in use might provoke more consumers to consider renewable energy options at home.

Maggie Teliska is a technical specialist at Caldwell Intellectual Property Law, an intellectual property law firm. She is also a member of GLG, a platform connecting businesses with industry experts.

Go deeper

Mike Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer congratulations and help

Mike Pence. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance in the transition, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: The belated conversation came six days before the inauguration after a contentious post-election stretch. President Trump has neither spoken with President-elect Joe Biden, nor explicitly conceded the 2020 election.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

The coronavirus variants: What you need to know

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New variants of the coronavirus circulating globally appear to increase transmission and are being closely monitored by scientists.

Driving the news: The highly contagious variant B.1.1.7 originally detected in the U.K. could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March if no measures are taken to control the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

2 hours ago - World

Abbas announces first Palestinian elections in 15 years

Abbas is 85 and in the 15th year of a 4-year term. Abbas Momani/AFP via Getty

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas published a decree on Friday announcing the dates for parliamentary and presidential elections in the Palestinian Authority.

Why it matters: This is the first time in 15 years that such a decree has been published. The last presidential elections took place in 2005, with Abbas winning, and the last parliamentary elections took place in 2006, with Hamas winning.