Goodell today talked at a press conference about last night’s power outage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans that killed lights, darkened the scoreboard, halted escalators and knocked out air conditioning shortly after the start of the third quarter, delaying the game for 34 minutes.
“There’s no indication at all that this was caused by the halftime show,” Goodell said. ”Absolutely none. I know that’s been out there, to say that Beyonce’s halftime show had anything to do with it. That’s not the case from anything we have at this point. ”
Doug Thornton of SMG , the Superdome’s management company, also spoke at Monday’s press conference with Goodell and said the halftime show was on a separate generator and wasn’t drawing power from stadium sources.
“The halftime show was run on 100 percent generated power. That means it was not on our power grid at all,” Thornton said. “All we know is we had an interruption in service.”
The outage came at an emotionally-charged moment in the historic game. Just as it appeared the game was going to be a blow out for the Baltimore Ravens, the power blew out instead. Players passed the time by stretching on the field. Cameras caught one or two yawning.
When power was restored, the San Francisco 49ers, which had been down 21-6 at the start of the second half, gained back 17 points in little more than four minutes, squashing the Ravens’ momentum and cutting their lead to just five points. The Ravens triumphed in the end, winning 34-31.
The electric company Entergy and SMG worked together to restore full power at the stadium and released a joint statement today saying, “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.”
The league, Entergy and SMG are investigating the cause of the outage today. Goodell said the issue was “clearly something that can be fixed and something that can be prepared for.”
The commissioner also praised New Orleans for their job in hosting the big game and said the outage would not hurt the city’s chances for future Super Bowls. Super Bowl 48, the 2014 big game, is scheduled to be held at MetLife Stadium in Rutherford, N.J.
“I do not think this will have an impact on future Super Bowls here in New Orleans,” Goodell said. “I fully expect to be back here for Super Bowls.”