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Super Bowl blackout: Bad equipment caused Superdome issue, according to reports

We take a look at the latest news surrounding the Superdome blackout during Super Bowl XLVII. Bad equipment was reportedly the cause.


While people may forget the winners and losers of some past Super Bowls, I doubt people will forget about the Superdome blackout during Super Bowl XLVII. The power went out at 5:38 p.m. PT, and the game did not restart for somewhere between 30 and 34 minutes. The power company said power was flowing to the stadium, but nobody knew what issue was cutting out the power.

According to the energy company, an electrical relay device was the cause of the blackout. Entergy released a statement on the matter:

"While the relay functioned without issue during a number of high-profile events -- including the New Orleans Bowl, the New Orleans Saints-Carolina Panthers game, and the Sugar Bowl -- during Sunday's game, the relay device triggered, signaling a switch to open when it should not have, causing the partial outage. This device has since been removed from service and new replacement equipment is being evaluated."

I had a chance to sit through the blackout in the press box, and it was not nearly as surreal as I might have otherwise expected. An inner ring of lights remained powered by what I imagine was some kind of emergency generator. That kept the Superdome from going completely dark.

Early on we had some "Let's Go Niners" and "Let's Go Ravens" chants. That was followed by the wave, as fans looked to entertain themselves however possible. I am normally a strong opponent of the wave, but this provided one time when the wave can in fact be appropriate. If you are at a sporting event and a blackout happens, a wave is perfectly acceptable.

In the latter half of the blackout, it looked like the game was going to get started again. The 49ers offense and Ravens defense were brought back on the field, and the refs were moving the rest of the 49ers and Ravens back to their sideline. However, a pair of league officials in suits came on shortly after, and the fans were not please. Booing rose from the seats, and Ed Reed jumped around waving his arms in encouragement.

Eventually the game started back up and everybody went about their business. It was nice to see people remain calm and generally have a good time. Although, it would have been fun to see this happen during the blackout: