Super Bowl power outage blamed on a breaker detecting an ‘unspecified abnormality’
A Super Bowl week that had gone so smoothly for New Orleans, but things turned strange when the lights went out on the biggest game of the year.
The outage, blamed on an unspecified “abnormality” in the Superdome’s power system, was an embarrassment for New Orleans, which was hosting its first Super Bowl since 2002 and was eager to show off how it has been rebuilt since Hurricane Katrina.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu called Sunday night’s outage “an unfortunate moment in what has been an otherwise shining Super Bowl week for the city of New Orleans.”
He said he expected to receive “a full after-action report from all parties involved” in the coming days.
“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.
The game was halted for 34 minutes because of a power outage, leaving most viewers with no idea why.
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.
While the San Francisco 49ers mounted a comeback once power was restored, the Baltimore Ravens held on to win the game 34-31.