The Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District, which oversees the Mercedes Benz Superdome, expressed concerns last October that decay in the stadium's electrical feeders could result in a power failure during Super Bowl XLVII. Approximately half of the Superdome's lights went dark shortly after the third quarter began Sunday.
The reliability of connections between Entergy New Orleans, which supplies power to the Superdome, and the stadium itself was called into question Oct. 15. An LSED document dated Dec. 19 justified a $600,000 investment made to upgrade the dome's electrical feeder cable system as "necessary to maintain both the Superdome and the New Orleans Arena as top tier facilities, and to ensure that we do not experience any electrical issues during the Super Bowl."
That a 34-minute power outage occurred nonetheless is the subject of an ongoing investigation. Indications are that no more strain was placed on the system than is typical of a New Orleans Saints home game. That said, Superdome power-failure contingencies proceeded as designed, with sensors located at the power feed point isolating the problem and back-up generators kicking in immediately, ensuring that power would be safely restored.
The game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers marked the eighth time the Superdome had hosted a Super Bowl, but the first since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. New Orleans will bid to return the Super Bowl to the Superdome in 2018.