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Terrorism, fire ruled out as causes for Super Bowl power outage



Published: Mon, February 4, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS

Authorities have ruled out terrorism and dismissed reports of a fire as a cause for the power outage at the Superdome that delayed the Super Bowl for 34 minutes.

FBI Special Agent Michael Anderson said terrorism was not the cause of Sunday night’s outage.

In addition, New Orleans Fire Department spokesman Michael Williams said no fire was reported before, during or after the power outage at the Superdome.

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.

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

Philip Allison, a spokesman for Entergy New Orleans, which provides power to the stadium, said power had been flowing into the stadium before the lights failed.

“All of our distribution and transmission feeds going into the Superdome were operating as expected,” Allison said.

He said the outage appeared to originate in a failure of equipment maintained by stadium staff. It occurred shortly after Beyonce put on a 12-minute halftime show that featured extravagant lighting and video effects.

On the CBS broadcast, play-by-play announcers Jim Nantz and Phil Simms went silent.

CBS sideline reporter Steve Tasker announced the problem of a “click of the lights” to viewers. 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.

“We lost all power up here at the press box level,” Nantz said after power was restored. He and Simms were off the air for most of the 34-minute outage.

The failure occurred shortly after Jacoby Jones returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a 108-yard touchdown, the longest play in Super Bowl history and pushing the Ravens to a commanding lead. But when play resumed, the momentum totally changed.

The Niners scored two straight touchdowns and nearly pulled off a game-winning drive in the closing minutes. They had first down inside the Ravens 10, but Baltimore kept them out of the end zone to preserve a wild 34-31 victory.

The blackout, it turned out, became more of a footnote than a spark to the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

Still, it was a moment like no other in the title game.

The public address announcer said the Superdome was experiencing an interruption of electrical service and encouraged fans to stay in their seats. Some fans did the wave to pass the time. Players milled around on the sidelines, some took a seat on the bench, other on the field. A few of the Ravens threw footballs around.

Officials gathered on the field and appeared to be talking to stadium personnel. Finally, the lights came back on throughout the dome and the game resumed.

“Let’s go!” referee Jerome Boger said to the teams.

The NFL said stadium officials were investigating the cause, but there was no immediate word of why the power went out.

“We sincerely apologize for the incident,” Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan said.

He told The Associated Press that Superdome technical staff were working more than hour after the outage to determine what caused it but still didn’t know.

Once the game resumed, CBS said all commercial commitments for the broadcast were being honored. The network sold out its allotment of advertising at $3.8 million per 30-second spot.

“We lost numerous cameras and some audio powered by sources in the Superdome,” said Jennifer Sabatelle, vice president of communications for CBS Sports. “We utilized CBS’ backup power and at no time did we leave the air.”

The outage provided a major glitch to what has largely been viewed as a smooth week for New Orleans, which was hosting its first Super Bowl since 2002 and was eager to show off how the city has rebuilt since Hurricane Katrina.

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.”


Comments

1redeye1(4711 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

If it was a terrorist attack , OBAMMY wouldn't tell the country . Because he is the president of peace and the biggest liar this country has seen since Billy and Hillary Clinton show were in office.

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