Super Bowl XLVII Blackout: Superdome Power Outage Cause By Faulty Device In Stadium, NFL To Avoid New Orleans In The Future For Championship Games?

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Feb 08, 2013 10:57 AM EST
Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs waits on the field after the half the lights
The NFL had a rough moment during the Super Bowl when the power went out at the Sueprdome, but the league was exonerated from any blame on Friday, as the stadium's power company said the cause was a faulty device that had been installed in its switching gear. Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs waits on the field after the half the lights went out in the third quarter against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 3.(Photo : Reuters) "

The NFL had a rough moment during the Super Bowl when the power went out at the Sueprdome, but the league was exonerated from any blame on Friday, as the stadium's power company said the cause was a faulty device that had been installed in its switching gear.

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According to the Associated Press, Officials of Entergy New Orleans, a subsidiary of New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., said the device, which is called a relay, was installed to protect the Superdome from a cable failure between the company's incoming power line and lines that run into the stadium, but it failed during the game.

The officials said that the device performed fine during other big events, including January's Sugar Bowl. They later said that the device was removed and that new equipment will be put in place to put off any future issues.

The power went out soon after Jacoby Jones's kickoff return touchdown and delayed the game for over 30 minutes. Earlier in the week, officials said they thought the problem originated in the switching gear, which is housed in a building known as "the vault" near the stadium. The FBI also investigated and said no cyberterrorism occurred.

Officials for the city were worried that the blackout possibly could take any shot at a future Super Bowl away, but commissioner Roger Goodell said that there would be no problems in the future and that the Super Bowl plans to come back to the city. According to the AP, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city intends to bid for the NFL's 2018 championship game.

The NFL was ready for the blackout though, as the league had backup equipment ready in case something could not be fixed. On Monday, Goodell said the league had an alternative ready in case the blackout continued for longer than it did, saying there was a backup system ready.

The league and officials also knew there was a possibility of a power issue.

According to ESPN.com: An Oct. 15 memo released by the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District, which oversees the Superdome, says tests on the dome's electrical feeders showed they had "some decay and a chance of failure."

"This is clearly something that can be fixed, and it's clearly something that we can prepare for," he said. "And we will."

The day after the Super Bowl officials at the stadium still were not exactly sure why the abnormality occurred, but league officials said that the game wasn't in danger of being postponed since there was a backup system ready.

"That was not a consideration last night," NFL vice president of business operations Eric Grubman said at a news conference Monday. "That is not what was at play."

The Superdome has gone through extensive renovations over the past few years and all the equipment that was upgraded after Hurricane Katrina worked effectively during the blackout. The halftime show was blamed by some on the internet for the outage, but officials confirmed that the show used its own dedicated generator and wasn't using the Superdome's power supply.

The power went out soon after Jacoby Jones's record-setting kick return touchdown less than two minutes into the third quarter, leaving the Ravens to stew around with a 22-point lead. The 49ers made a great comeback in the third quarter, but fell short at the end, losing 34-31.

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