Beyoncé off the hook for Super Bowl blackout

49ers mill around during the 34-minute delay. A West Conshohocken company runs the Superdome.
49ers mill around during the 34-minute delay. A West Conshohocken company runs the Superdome. (AP)
Posted: February 06, 2013

NEW ORLEANS - As the Superdome's energy provider and stadium management try to determine what caused a 34-minute power outage at Sunday's Super Bowl, local officials are hoping the incident won't leave the city with a black eye or prevent the league's big game from coming back to town.

And, no, it wasn't Beyonce's fault. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke Monday morning about the power outage, confirming that the halftime show had nothing to do with the power going out. Larry Roedel, a lawyer for the state board that oversees the Superdome, said Monday that the outage did not appear to be related to work done on the stadium's electrical system in December. The work, approved by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District last fall, replaced feeder equipment connecting the stadium to power provider Entergy New Orleans.

Entergy and the company that manages the Superdome, SMG of West Conshohocken, said Sunday that an "abnormality" occurred where stadium equipment intersects with an Entergy electric feed, causing a breaker to create the outage. It remained unclear Monday exactly what the abnormality was or why it occurred.

But Doug Thornton, manager of the Superdome, called the outage an equipment error, not a human one. He said that when the power outage hit, meters indicated the stadium was drawing less power than it does during a typical New Orleans Saints game. The air-conditioning system was running, he said, but on less power than it does in September.

Thornton said millions of dollars have been spent upgrading electrical equipment in the building since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, and none of it failed. He said it was working properly when power was restored.

He also said there is no evidence that the halftime show had anything to do with the outage, which struck early in the third quarter. He said the show used its own dedicated generator and wasn't using the Superdome's power supply.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu told WWL-AM on Monday that the city still wants to make a bid to host the NFL's championship game again in 2018 and that the outage won't hurt its chances.

Goodell said New Orleans was a terrific Super Bowl host and that the outage won't affect future bids.

"I fully expect that we will be back here for Super Bowls," Goodell said. "And I hope we will be back. We want to be back."


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