Super Bowl Blackout Caused by "Abnormality" That Led to a Breaker Freakout

Illustration for article titled Super Bowl Blackout Caused by "Abnormality" That Led to a Breaker Freakout

What turned out the lights in the Superdome last night? Actually, we still don't know! But Entergy—the company responsible for keeping the lights on at the Super Bowl—has released a statement that amounts to a blown fuse, origin unknown.

The lights were out for 34 minutes during last night's Ravens-49ers slugfest, a delay that led to unfortunate announcer ad libs and extended shots of professional football players looking restive. And had the Niners completed their inspired post-blackout comeback effort, it would've gone down as one of the most significant malfunctions in the history of sports. Here's Entergy's take on what happened:

Shortly after the beginning of the second half of the Super Bowl in the Mercedes Benz Superdome, a piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system. Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue.

Backup generators kicked in immediately as designed. Entergy and SMG subsequently coordinated start up procedures, ensuring that full power was safely restored to the Superdome.

The fault-sensing equipment activated where the Superdome equipment intersects with Entergy's feed into the facility.


Oh, an abnormality! Sure, why not? It's vague, but at least it still leaves room for us to assume that it was Beyonce-related. A halftime show with that much thrusting surely comes with consequences. [Entergy via AP]

Image credit: AP/Charlie Riedell

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I think they should have kept playing. Both teams had the same disadvantage, it was light enough to see. Why not play?