The power outage that temporarily darkened the Superdome early in the third quarter of last night’s NFL title game cast an embarrassing pall over New Orleans’ first post-Hurricane Katrina Super Bowl.
Entergy (NYSE:ETR), which provides power to the stadium, traced the 34-minute outage to an electrical monitoring system at the point at which it feeds power to the stadium. The system tripped a breaker, cutting power to most of the Superdome after it detected a power “abnormality,” the Associated Press noted.
The blackout came as play resumed following a special effects-heavy half-time show headlined by singer Beyonce. Parts of the Superdome suddenly fell dark, escalators stopped, ATM shut down and media commentators found their press boxes powerless.
Entergy is working with SMG, which operates the Superdome to identify the source of the problem and make any necessary repairs. Local and federal authorities say that neither terrorism nor a fire contributed to the incident. On Sunday night Entergy said that the problem resulted from the Superdome’s own equipment, not its power delivery system.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he is awaiting a full explanation of the power outage and called it an “unfortunate moment” for the city. New Orleans’ chances to host the 2018 Super Bowl could be hurt by last night’s event.
The outage almost proved a boon for the San Francisco 49ers, who were far behind the Baltimore Ravens before the stadium went dark. By the time the light came back on, a re-energized 49ers switched the game’s momentum, racking up two consecutive touchdowns after the lights came back. Still, they were unable to overcome the Ravens lead.
Shares of Entergy fell fractionally in Monday morning trading.