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Lights out: Power outage stops game at Super Bowl

Published On: Feb 03 2013 08:02:44 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 04 2013 12:33:01 AM CST
Katrina Superdome Sugar Bowl

Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

The Superdome has been rebuilt since the hurricane. Since 2006, $336 million in renovations have been spent on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.


The lights figuratively were going out on the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl before the lights literally went out at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

At 7:38 p.m. CST, early in the third quarter of the game, the overhead lights affixed to the stadium roof over the 49ers' side went out. The power failure sparked a 34-minute delay.

When the game resumed, the 49ers scored the next 17 points, making it a close game before losing 34-31 to the Baltimore Ravens.

Following the game, Superdome management and the power company, Entergy, issued a joint statement that read, "Shortly after the beginning of the second half of the Super Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, a piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system. Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue.

"Backup generators kicked in immediately as designed. Entergy and (Superdome management) subsequently coordinated start up procedures, ensuring that full power was safely restored to the Superdome. The fault-sensing equipment activated where the Superdome equipment intersects with Entergy's feed into the facility. There were no additional issues detected. Entergy and (Superdome management) will continue to investigate the root cause of the abnormality."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of the outage, "Both teams had to deal with it. I thought they dealt with it better, obviously. They were able to turn the momentum of the game."

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