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October 2012 memo warned of “chance of failure” for Superdome power


While Sunday night’s power outage won’t remove New Orleans from the list of potential Super Bowl cities, there are still plenty of questions regarding why and how a 34-minute blackout occurred.

According to the Associated Press, a memo dated October 15, 2012 revealed that tests on the Superdome’s electrical feeders revealed that the equipment had “some decay and a chance of failure.”

The testing was ordered after power was lost during a 2011 Monday night game at Candlestick Park between the 49ers and the Steelers.

Thus, while Superdome manager Doug Thornton told Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the failure did not result from an overloading of the circuits, the memo demonstrates that there was a concern that ordinary loads could cause the power to crap out.

And crap out it did.

The good news for New Orleans?  The temporary power outage will pale in comparison to next year’s looming blizzard in New Jersey.

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37 Responses to “October 2012 memo warned of “chance of failure” for Superdome power”
  1. jimw81 says: Feb 4, 2013 11:29 PM

    looks like Boomer Esiason had a Rob Lowe moment. why didnt the NFL know about this?

  2. pooflingingmonkey says: Feb 4, 2013 11:32 PM

    Yes, this scandal ranks right up there with Benghazi.

  3. purplegreenandgold says: Feb 4, 2013 11:34 PM

    While Sunday night’s power outage won’t remove New Orleans from the list of potential Super Bowl cities
    Well I suspect that goes against the expert opinions given on this site that there will not be another SB in New Orleans or that the Saints are moving to L.A.

  4. ggreen7 says: Feb 4, 2013 11:35 PM

    In 30 years we’ll all being talking about how great this was.

  5. logast says: Feb 4, 2013 11:37 PM

    Surely W was to blame.

  6. westclaims says: Feb 4, 2013 11:41 PM

    I am very surprised that the power outage is getting so much press. Game’s over right? We know who won.

  7. borisbulldog says: Feb 4, 2013 11:52 PM

    I wonder what Merecedes Benz, and icon for quality, was thinking when the camera’s zoomed in to show the 1/2 lit stadium with their logo in the background?

  8. stampnhawk says: Feb 4, 2013 11:58 PM

    You have to figure that electrical system was renovated after it became a homeless shelter and lawless shanty town after Katrina…and now craps out in well under a decade?

    Regardless, not the best advertising if Mercedes wishes to come out with an electric car. Audi on Twitter during the blackout offering to send LED lights last night was gold.

  9. 2greatgoldens says: Feb 4, 2013 11:58 PM

    The plot thickens…

  10. pravin68 says: Feb 5, 2013 12:00 AM

    If the SB took place in NJ this year, guess what. It would have gone just fine without a hitch.

  11. Gordon says: Feb 5, 2013 12:19 AM

    Any chance the system was hacked? That’s the first thought I had when it happened.

  12. snaxdsp says: Feb 5, 2013 12:24 AM

    It never ends with this garbage

  13. kevpft says: Feb 5, 2013 12:24 AM

    “some decay and a chance of failure” – the cynical could see this as a metaphor for city, state, region…

  14. sdisme says: Feb 5, 2013 12:36 AM

    Really you are not going to repot the feeders were changed in December?

  15. randomcommenter says: Feb 5, 2013 12:53 AM

    Only a matter of time before they blame George Bush.

  16. buttfumbles says: Feb 5, 2013 12:53 AM

    Drew Brees needs…ah forget it.

  17. wolfmanpatriot says: Feb 5, 2013 4:30 AM

    The fact that you stopped the sentence and said, ah, forget about it, made me actually laugh out loud. Or, at least chuckle out loud. Good man!

  18. redmanalishi says: Feb 5, 2013 6:51 AM

    Anyone else find it hypocritical that the NFL (and many others for that matter) is so serious about getting to the bottom of an ‘unforgivable’ 34 minute delay from a power outage but no one sees a problem in a 36 minute delay for overblown halftime show? Put your damn dancing and fireworks on after the superbowl if you want, or during the 5 hour long pregame. Yeah, lets plug in every three times as many cameras and other junk for one game, THEN have 30+ minute concert. What could possibly go wrong?

  19. fanofevilempire says: Feb 5, 2013 6:57 AM

    I would like to know who and what stadium can guarantee they would/ could not have a power outage. You can have back up power or generators as a precaution but there is absolutely no way anyone will guarantee 100% this could not happen. This is the most ridiculous topic.

  20. 1uniquename says: Feb 5, 2013 7:11 AM

    I like the hacked theory, anonymous strikes again. Ya I’ll run with that at work n see what everyone thinks, internet terrorism striking at the super bowl.

  21. ZeroDarkThirty says: Feb 5, 2013 7:17 AM

    ‘9ers happen to be in the two stadiums and play in the two games where the power fails? Coinikidink? Maybe, maybe not….

  22. Shinnbone says: Feb 5, 2013 8:03 AM

    We need some congressional hearings to get to the bottom of this national security breach.

  23. Shinnbone says: Feb 5, 2013 8:05 AM

    This report might have had about 1% of credibility if you posted this article last Friday.

  24. lbijake says: Feb 5, 2013 8:06 AM

    As long as Tony and the rest of the boys at the Bada Bing are taken care of, there will be no problems. Evidentlt, the forces that be in NOLA were not properly remunerated.

  25. chacochicken says: Feb 5, 2013 8:22 AM

    What did Obama know and when did he know it?

  26. SeenThisB4 says: Feb 5, 2013 8:36 AM

    Where’s the rest of the memos and purchase orders that show that those feeders were replaced before the Super Bowl?

  27. sb44champs says: Feb 5, 2013 8:38 AM

    If I see one more ‘Drew needs an explanation’ comment from amatuer comedians, I just might puke a little in my mouth. Its way overblown people, get a life..

  28. 44mpo says: Feb 5, 2013 8:39 AM

    I thought it was the NFL’s efforts to make folks aware about global warming. Kind of like all the pink they wear in October. It’s all about awareness you know!

  29. trinityyachts says: Feb 5, 2013 8:42 AM

    This was all over the local news this morning. WWL 870 am.

    What the AP report fails to, uh report, is that the city of New Orleans spend over $1,000,000.00 to repair any deficiencies found during this investigation. The AP and that four letter company only report half the info. Typical.

    Go Saints, Beat the Falcons and Roger Goodell

  30. ickky says: Feb 5, 2013 9:05 AM

    New Orleans isnt very good at dealing with memoes

  31. harrisonhits2 says: Feb 5, 2013 9:25 AM

    “fanofevilempire says:
    Feb 5, 2013 6:57 AM
    I would like to know who and what stadium can guarantee they would/ could not have a power outage. You can have back up power or generators as a precaution but there is absolutely no way anyone will guarantee 100% this could not happen. This is the most ridiculous topic.”

    You’re quite wrong about this. Electrical overloads are simple mathematics. The mains coming into the stadium carry x amount of power. Which means you can put as many devices, lights etc drawing that power as long as the amount they draw does not equal greater than x.

    Most venues can guarantee this. I have toured for many years doing lighting at concerts and the first thing I ask whenever I have a large rig is how much power I have available and is there enough to turn everything on at once which I usually do at the end of the show.

    Engineers and electricians are paid a lot of money to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen. If the league was aware of faulty equipment and then loaded the system to the max they got what they asked for.

  32. Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop says: Feb 5, 2013 9:46 AM

    While Sunday night’s power outage won’t remove New Orleans from the list of potential Super Bowl cities

    I think Saints fans bashing of Goodell have done enough already.

  33. sailbum7 says: Feb 5, 2013 10:06 AM

    This article is BS because it fails to mention that the concerns in the memo were addressed back in December. This event requires no elaborate investigations and it was not the result of any negligence, failure to make repairs, conspiracies, or anything else the pundits and internet rumor mongers try and throw out there. There was a power surge in one of the circuits feeding the Superdome. To protect the electrical equipment, and everyone in the building for that matter, the power management equipment functioned as it was designed to and opened the circuit breakers. The system is designed to work this way in response to a surge to keep from damaging equipment and possibly causing a fire or transformer explosion. Had the equipment not worked, it could have resulted in an inability to continue the game at all as equipment could have suffered major damage, not to mention people could have been injured. As it were, everything worked as it should and they were able to restore power in a relatively short period of time. I am sure that they will look for the cause of the surge that triggered the safety shutdown, but they may never be able to say with certainty what caused it. Unfortunately, with high power demand systems like the one at the Superdome, surges like this will happen once in a while. They are expected and this is why there are safety systems in place to deal with them.

  34. swagger52 says: Feb 5, 2013 10:22 AM

    I bet there are some Mercedes people with heavy german accents flying to New Orleans as we speak to ask some very difficult questions.

    No problem…just blame George Bush.

  35. developermannola says: Feb 5, 2013 12:27 PM

    I read somewhere that they spent nearly a million bucks changing feeders in November. Are these the same ones you’re talking about?

  36. jwcarlson says: Feb 5, 2013 12:56 PM

    We all know it was a guy who took the over in Vegas on “number of power outages”.

    Not hard to figure out.

  37. footballchic777 says: Feb 5, 2013 1:11 PM

    I love the fact that the game is going to a cold weather, non dome stadium! All of these domed, warm weather stadiums favor the domed, warm weather teams. About time the same advantage is given to a cold weather, non dome team. Brings a whole new “element” to the game!

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