'Abnormality' Blamed for Superdome Blackout

New Orleans to probe 34-minute outage that ground Super Bowl to halt

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 4, 2013 1:45 AM CST | Updated Feb 4, 2013 7:55 AM CST

(Newser) – Embarrassed officials say the blackout that shut down the Super Bowl for 34 minutes was caused by an "abnormality in the system," though they're still in the dark as to what caused it. The Superdome's management company says power was partially cut to isolate the issue after the problem was detected and backup generators kicked in as designed, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which notes that the minutes of meetings of the public authority that owns the dome make many references to urgent electrical work over the last few months.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has called for a full review of the incident. "The power outage was an unfortunate moment in what has been an otherwise shining Super Bowl week for the city of New Orleans," he said. "For us, the Super Bowl isn't over until the last visitor leaves town, so we're focused on continuing to show our visitors a good time." New Orleans has hosted 10 Super Bowls, tying it with Miami for the most, but the blackout signals that it may have to replace the aging Superdome before it can host an 11th, Forbes reports.

Fans and players wait for power to return in the Superdome.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Half the lights are out in the Superdome during a power outage in the second half.   (AP Photo/Marcio Sanchez)
San Francisco 49ers cheerleaders perform during a power outage at the Superdome.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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