Things were going great for the Super Bowl host city of New Orleans. The Big Easy was in full celebration mode. Security at the Superdome was tight but efficient. During the pregame, announcers talked about how the Superdome had never looked better.
During the first half, it was looking like the Ravens were going to steamroll over
the 49ers, but that had nothing to do with location. The halftime show dazzled with Beyoncé and pyrotechnics. Ah, yes. The Superdome was shining.
Shortly into the third quarter, the lights went out inside the Superdome. Auxiliary power kept the stadium from going completely dark, but the game was halted for 34 minutes.
Most the players remained on the field. The blackout led to some piss-poor broadcasting, but the TV announcers muddled their way through. Bored fans took to Twitter for entertainment.
Entergy, the electrical provider for the Superdome, was quick to point out that the issue wasn’t on their end. Power was flowing to the Dome. Some blamed the age of the Dome. Others claimed that the halftime show caused a power surge. And the Who Dat faithful say it was a “FYYFF” aimed at Roger Goodell. More entertaining reasons for the blackout–Bane, dementors, and Buffalo Wild Wings. Oh my!
The game continued after the delay. The 49ers seemed recharged. They played a much better second half. The Ravens managed to get the win, 34-31.
The official word from Entergy and stadium officials late Sunday night:
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 SMG 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.
Of course, the city is looking ahead to future Superbowl bids. Will this equipment malfunction hurt the Big Easy’s chances?
New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a statement about the blackout:
The power outage was an unfortunate moment in what has been an otherwise shining Super Bowl week for the City of New Orleans…In the coming days, I expect a full after action report from all parties involved. For us, the Super Bowl isn’t over until the last visitor leaves town, so we’re focused on continuing to show our visitors a good time.
Superbowl XLVII is now in the record books, but we will always remember the Great Superbowl Blackout. Where were you when the lights went out? How will we tell the tale of those harrowing 35 minutes to future generations?