On Sunday night during the Super Bowl, a power outage brought the game to a standstill for over half an hour during the third quarter. While the cause of the blackout remained unknown for nearly a week, the cause has now been traced to a faulty relay installed by New Orleans energy company Entergy.
According to CNN, the new device was an electrical relay meant to protect the Superdome’s systems in case of an emergency. The relay apparently triggered when it was not needed and caused a 34-minute power outage, which interrupted the third quarter of the Super Bowl game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens.
Entergy provides power to more than 160,000 customers throughout the New Orleans area. Officials stated that the faulty device has been removed and replaced with better functioning equipment.
"While some further analysis remains, we believe we have identified and remedied the cause of the power outage and regret the interruption that occurred during what was a showcase event for the city and state," Entergy New Orleans Chief Executive Charles Rice told the Wall Street Journal.
"We are going to do everything humanly possible [to ensure] we do not experience an event like this again," Rice said.
Though the power outage caused a large failure of the Superdome’s electrical equipment, the stadium’s auxiliary power systems kept the game from going completely dark. However, even with the auxilary power, the game had to be delayed until full power was restored.
CNN notes that the relay device was a new addition to the Superdome’s electrical systems. It was installed on Dec. 21 as part of an initiative to update the stadium. While it was relatively new, the relay device functioned prefectly fine throughout three other major events -- the New Orleans Bowl, the Sugar Bowl and a Saints-Panthers game.
The power outage came with 13:22 left in the third quarter, with the Baltimore Ravens leading the San Francisco 49ers 28-6.