AuthorTopic: Black Sunday: The Super Bowl Goes Dark  (Read 858 times)

Offline RE

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Black Sunday: The Super Bowl Goes Dark
« on: February 03, 2013, 08:13:08 PM »
Superdome goes dark during Super Bowl XLVII

Chris Chase, USA TODAY Sports10:09p.m. EST February 3, 2013

A power outage sent the Superdome into darkness in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII, leading to an unprecedented 33-minute delay at the NFL's annual title game.

Less than two minutes into the second half, at 8:37 ET, numerous banks of lights cut out at the New Orleans dome, plunging half of the stadium into darkness and cutting off CBS audio to the event.

The outage occurred during the first San Francisco 49ers drive of the second half. While CBS was showing a replay after Colin Kaepernick was sacked on a second-down play, a power surge started the delay. Phil Simms' microphone cut out mid-sentence and viewers soon saw a silent shot of dark lights underneath the dome.

Reports from New Orleans suggest the issue started after the lengthy halftime show. As soon as Beyonce's performance was complete, a smoke alarm started going off inside the press box, in a hallway next to the AFC coaches box. Superdome staff was scrambling to fix the issue during halftime.

The cause of the outage wasn't immediately known, but James Brown reported on CBS that a power surge was to blame. The NFL released an official statement after play resumed.

"Stadium authorities are investigating the cause of the power outage," it said. "We will have more information as it becomes available."

Aaron Wilson of Ravens Insider tweeted that an NFL official said Beyonce's halftime show may have been a factor.

Players stretched and warmed-up during the delay. Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh was seen on television screaming at a Super Bowl official, but it wasn't immediately known what he was angry about.

Fans had to keep busy too. They started the wave as the outage grew longer. It took approximately 18 minutes for the first lights to come back on, at 8:55 ET and 33 minutes overall.

Since Simms and Jim Nantz were without power, CBS relied on sideline analyst Steve Tasker for updates. Power was restored to the network's sideline crew and viewers were forced to endure Bill Cowher and Shannon Sharpe discussing topics such as whether Alex Smith should replace Colin Kaepernick.

Play began at 9:10 ET and the 49ers failed to convert on third down on the restart. By the time the Ravens offense took the field after the punt, it had been 84 minutes since the unit last took a snap.

A few blocks away in the French Quarter, the power remained on the whole time. Fans watched TVs in French Quarter restaurants and bars in stunned disbelief as the game came to a halt while the Superdome regained power.

Renee Mendoza, a 49ers fan from San Jose, Calif., watched from a table at the Royal House Oyster Bar. Her husband, Ray, who was at the game, was texting her updates and pictures from inside the Superdome during the blackout. She said she hoped the outage would slow the Ravens' momentum.

"Hopefully it'll throw the Ravens off and the 49ers will get their head back in the game," Mendoza, 49, said.
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Offline Surly1

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Re: Black Sunday: The Super Bowl Goes Dark
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 07:39:22 AM »
"Under investigation" means we'll never really know what happened. Yet I heard a snippet on spots talk radio yesterday attributing the cause to Beyonce's remarkable bump-n-grind halftime show and its considerable power demands. Moveover, they mentioned something I had not heard-- which is that power failed the two previous times they had rehearsed the show.

And then there's the story below.

With all this said, I would not be surprised if it were skulduggery as outlined above. The Ravens were on their way to a blowout, which could well have been costing Someone a big pile. In any event, we'll never know. By the time the NFL is done "investigating," Lee Harvey Oswald will have done it with a single bullet.

Super Bowl outage was known fear
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- The cause of a 34-minute blackout at the Super Bowl remains under investigation, but public records released Monday show that Superdome officials were worried about a power outage several months before the big game.

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."

Entergy New Orleans, the company that supplies the stadium with power, and the structure's engineering staff "had concerns regarding the reliability of the Dome service from Entergy's connection point to the Dome," the memo says. Those concerns were due in part to "circumstances that have previously occurred with the electrical service regarding transient spikes and loads."

The memo also cites 2011 blackouts that struck Candlestick Park, where the San Francisco 49ers were playing a nationally televised Monday night football game, as a reason for ordering the tests.

The board later authorized spending nearly $1 million on Superdome improvements, including more than $600,000 for upgrading the dome's electrical feeder cable system.

"As discussed in previous board meetings, this enhancement is necessary to maintain both the Superdome and the New Orleans Arena as top tier facilities, and to ensure that we do not experience any electrical issues during the Super Bowl," says a LSED document dated Dec. 19.

An attorney for the state board that oversees the Superdome said the blackout did not appear to be related to the replacement in December of electrical equipment connecting the stadium to Entergy. Officials with the utility and the Superdome noted that an NFL game, the Sugar Bowl and another bowl game were played there in recent weeks with no apparent problems.

The exact cause of Sunday night's blackout -- and who's to blame -- remained unclear late Monday, though a couple of potential culprits had been ruled out.

It wasn't Beyonce's electrifying halftime performance, according to Doug Thornton, manager of the state-owned Superdome, since the singer had her own generator. And it apparently wasn't a case of too much demand for power. Meters showed the 76,000-seat stadium was drawing no more electricity than it does during a typical New Orleans Saints game, Thornton said.

The lights-out game Sunday proved an embarrassment for the Big Easy just when it was hoping to show the rest of the world how far it has come since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But many fans and residents were forgiving, and officials expressed confidence that the episode wouldn't hurt the city's hopes of hosting the championship again.

To New Orleans' great relief, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the city did a "terrific" job hosting its first pro football championship in the post-Hurricane Katrina era, and added: "I fully expect that we will be back here for Super Bowls."

AP Photo/Marcio SanchezThe majority of lights went out in the Superdome during the Super Bowl, causing a 34-minute delay.

Fans watching from their living rooms weren't deterred, either. An estimated 108.4 million television viewers saw the Baltimore Ravens beat the 49ers 34-31, making it the third most-viewed program in television history. Both the 2010 and 2011 games hit the 111 million mark.

The problem that caused the outage was believed to have happened around the spot where a line that feeds current from Entergy New Orleans connects with the Superdome's electrical system, officials said. But whether the fault lay with the utility or with the Superdome was not clear.

Determining the cause will probably take days, according to Dennis Dawsey, a vice president for distribution and transmission for Entergy. He said the makers of some of the switching gear have been brought in to help figure out what happened.

The blackout came after a nearly flawless week of activity for football fans in New Orleans leading up to the big game.

"I hope that's not what they'll remember about this Super Bowl," French Quarter artist Gloria Wallis said. "I hope that what they'll remember is they had a great time here and that they were welcomed here."

Ravens fan Antonio Prezioso, a Baltimore native who went to the game with his 11-year-old son, said the outage just extended the experience.

"The more time we could spend at the game was a good thing, as long as it ended the way it did," he said, laughing.

The city last hosted the Super Bowl in 2002, and officials were hoping this would serve as the ultimate showcase for the city's recovery since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm tore holes in the roof of the Superdome and caused water damage to its electrical systems, and more than $330 million was spent repairing and upgrading the stadium.

Garber: Best, Worst of Super Bowl XLVII

On a night filled with big plays, a bizarre power outage took center stage in Super Bowl XLVII. Greg Garber looks at that and the rest of the best and worst in the Superdome during the Ravens' win. Story

Sunday's Super Bowl was New Orleans' 10th as host, and officials plan to make a bid for an 11th in 2018.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu told WWL-AM on Monday that the outage won't hurt the city's chances, and he joked that the game got better after the blackout: "People were leaving and the game was getting boring, so we had to do a little something to spice it up."

The chairwoman of the New Orleans City Council's Utility Committee has called an emergency meeting for Friday to discuss the power outage.

Jarvis DeBerry, a columnist for and The Times-Picayune, wrote that the power outage gave the media "an opportunity to laugh at the apparent ineptitude or suggest that the ghosts of Hurricane Katrina were haunting the Superdome."

"That's not the kind of attention the city was looking for, obviously," he wrote, "but it's certainly too soon to say if people will remember the power shortage over San Francisco's furious comeback attempt against Baltimore or if this will harm the city's future opportunities to host the Super Bowl."

Bjorn Hanson, dean of New York University's Center for Hospitality and Sports Management, said the episode shouldn't hurt the city's reputation as a big convention destination. "I think people view it for what it was: an unusual event with a near-record power draw," he said. "It was the equivalent of a circuit breaker flipping."

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Black Sunday: The Super Bowl Goes Dark
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 08:43:40 AM »
I think it would be very easy for the techs who fixed the problem to tell us what the problem was, all this maybe this maybe that is BS. I doubt it had anything to do with someone trying to help the home team get back in the game, since they already just had a long half time break. maybe the "Anonymous" hackers group LOL?

Does anyone remember Bill Hicks telling it like it is 20 yrs ago about how the advertisers would have their way if they could (sorry surly)? Prophetic. Beyonce may as well have just dropped her pants and touched her toes for ten minutes.

Offline Surly1

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Re: Black Sunday: The Super Bowl Goes Dark
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 12:50:03 PM »

Does anyone remember Bill Hicks telling it like it is 20 yrs ago about how the advertisers would have their way if they could (sorry surly)? Prophetic. Beyonce may as well have just dropped her pants and touched her toes for ten minutes.

No offense taken. I worked in public broadcasting for 27 years before I went to work in advertising. Got to pay the bills. And I love Bill Hicks. We miss his voice!

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