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"Abnormality" after Beyonce show triggered power outage at Superdome

Published: Mon, February 4, 2013 @ 2:09 a.m.

‘Abnormality’ after Beyonce show triggered power outage at Superdome

Associated Press


The Super Bowl turned into Blackout Sunday.

The biggest game of the year was halted for 34 minutes because of a power outage, plunging parts of the Superdome into darkness and leaving TV viewers with no football and no explanation why.

The Baltimore Ravens were leading the San Francisco 49ers 28-6 when most of the lights in the 73,000-seat building went out with 13:22 left in the third quarter Sunday night.

About two hours after the game, won by the Ravens in a 34-31 thriller, officials revealed that an “abnormality” in the power system triggered an automatic shutdown, forcing backup systems to kick in. But they weren’t sure what caused the initial problem.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called the power outage “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,” he said.

Auxiliary power kept the playing field from going totally dark, but escalators stopped working, credit-card machines shut down, and the concourses were only illuminated by small banks of lights tied in to emergency service.

Most fans seemed to take the outage in stride, even starting up the wave to pass the time.

“So we had to spend 30 minutes in the dark? That was just more time for fans to refill their drinks,” said Amanda Black of Columbus, Miss.

A joint statement from Entergy New Orleans, which provides power to the stadium, and Superdome operator SMG shed some light on the chain of events, which apparently started at the spot where Entergy feeds power into the stadium’s lines. The problem occurred shortly after Beyonce put on a halftime show that featured extravagant lighting and video effects.

“A piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system,” the statement said. “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. ... Entergy and SMG will continue to investigate the root cause of the abnormality.”

The FBI quickly ruled out terrorism, and the New Orleans Fire Department dismissed reports that a fire might have been the cause.

Auxiliary power kept the playing field and concourses from going totally dark.

On the CBS broadcast, play-by-play announcers Jim Nantz and Phil Simms went silent. Sideline reporter Steve Tasker announced to viewers a “click of the lights” as the problem. Later, the halftime crew anchored by host James Brown returned to fill the time with football analysis. Brown said a power surge caused the outage.


1busyman(239 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

I think they should bring back Disney to do the half time shows. What the hell was going on during the half time show? I might be getting old, but I do not think the 12 to 16 years olds are the one keeping this economy going. The Poland and Baordman bands could put on a better half time show. I sorry if I left a local highschool out. You are great and put in a lot of time to prepare.

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2peacelover(839 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

busyman, somehow I think that halftime show was geared towards males ages 16 and up. I am sure they'd rather watch Beyonce shakin' her booty in a skimpy costume than a high school marching band.

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3redeye1(5673 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

One thing I will say about the NFL, They keep their half time shows constantly lousy year in and year out. At least it doesn't take away from the all important game LOLThis has to be rated in the top two shows that was horrible to watch and listen to.

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4DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

What a poor excuse for entertainment. How brain-dead is the target audience? May as well have monkeys throwing poo at each other!

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5Attis(1134 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

The "abnormality" was the borderline porn show put on by Beyonce and watched by millions of children who lost a bit of their innocence and millions of misogynic men who got their jollies by having sex vicariously with her gyrating harem. First we have a wardrobe malfunction and now this. What's next? A half-time orgy?

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