Super Bowl extravaganza hit by power failure

NEW ORLEANS Mon Feb 4, 2013 11:58am IST

1 of 2. The Superdome is darkened during a power outage in the third quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 3, 2013

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Bachman

Related Topics



NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - The Super Bowl, the biggest U.S. sports event of the year, was interrupted by a 35-minute power outage at the Superdome on Sunday, and officials said the problem appeared to be with the electrical load coming into the stadium.

New Orleans electric utility Entergy Corp (ETR.N) and the Superdome management company, SMG, said a problem with the "electrical load" caused a sensor to open a breaker and partially cut power to the dome "in order to isolate the issue," a safety feature that worked "as designed."

The abnormality in the electrical load happened where "the Superdome equipment intersects with Entergy's feed into the facility," according to a joint statement by Entergy and SMG.

The cause of the abnormality is unknown, they said.

After a half-time show by the singer Beyonce heavy on electric lights, Baltimore opened the second half with a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that gave the Ravens a 28-6 lead early in the third quarter. Moments later, the scoreboard and half of the overheard lights in the Superdome went out.

Officials waved a stop to play, which abruptly short-circuited the most watched television event of the year.

The overhead lights first went out on the San Francisco 49ers' side of the field before dimming in other parts, while overhead lighting remained on and kept the 72,968-seat stadium from being plunged into total darkness.

"Those things happen, and both teams had to deal with it," said Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who was named Most Valuable Player.

After the outage, the 49ers staged a comeback and came close to defeating the Ravens, who won 34-31.

Entergy officials said no other parts of New Orleans were affected.

"The power outage was an unfortunate moment in what has been an otherwise shining Super Bowl week for the city of New Orleans," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement on

"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."

Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan did not speculate on the cause of the outage.

"We sincerely apologize for the incident," he said in a statement on

The Super Bowl, which determines the NFL champion for the 2012 season, is broadcast live in more than 180 countries and in more than 30 different languages.

CBS, the official broadcaster, charged advertisers an estimated $3.7 million to $3.8 million for 30-second spots in this year's Super Bowl.

Last year's NFL title game, in which the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots, was the most watched single television program ever in the United States, averaging an estimated 111.3 million viewers.

Outages are not unheard of in the NFL. Two power outages in a single game delayed a game between the 49ers and the Pittsburg Steelers at San Francisco's Candlestick Park in December 2011.

The Superdome became known worldwide when it sheltered as many as 30,000 residents who sought refuge there from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The stadium was restored at a cost of $336 million in several phases. In October 2011, it was renamed the Mercedes-Benz Superdome under a 10-year name sponsorship deal. (Additional reporting by Scott DiSavino, Karen Brooks and Tim Gaynor.; Editing by Mary Milliken)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Formula One


Honouring Putin

Honouring Putin

FINA stands by decision to honour Putin.  Full Article 

ATP World Tour

ATP World Tour

Murray in Tour Finals, Djokovic and Federer win.  Full Article 

Neymar at Olympics

Neymar at Olympics

Neymar to be called up for Brazil's 2016 Olympic team.  Full Article 

Rio's Suspension

Rio's Suspension

Rio faces fight to get back into QPR side, says Redknapp   Full Article 

Nigeria vs FIFA

Nigeria vs FIFA

Nigeria set to avoid FIFA suspension after court case is dropped  Full Article 

International Career

International Career

Controversial batsman Ryder gets World Cup lifeline.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage