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Investigation closes in on cause of blackout

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

Usually, a “blackout” happens in the NFL only when the NFL intends for it to happen.  On Sunday, an accidental blackout knocked out power at the Superdome for 34 minutes.  (Or, in other words, the amount of time it takes for Rob Ryan to find 6.8 jobs.)

Four days later, the powers-that-be are closing in on determining the cause of the power outage.  According to WWLTV.com, it’s believed that “a protective relay within a piece of equipment called a switchgear” caused half the building to lose electricity.

Officially, however, no one is pinpointing a cause, citing the fact that the investigation continues.

The equipment at the core of the controversy was installed recently, as part of the eleventh-hour effort to get the stadium ready for the Super Bowl.  The relay shut the system done after sensing a problem, even though there apparently was no problem.

Other than the 34-minute blackout.

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25 Responses to “Investigation closes in on cause of blackout”
  1. ducksouped says: Feb 7, 2013 7:20 PM

    Its ok. The ravens won and all is good in the world. Back where we belong, world champions.

  2. lakermetskins says: Feb 7, 2013 7:25 PM

    Wow! NFL news is starting to dry up already. Can’t wait until April when fake stories about which teams are “leaning towards” certain players in the draft.

  3. csilojohnson says: Feb 7, 2013 7:25 PM

    BS, The power was thrown because ratings were dropping. Just a last ditch effort to swing the momentum. It worked. Yet another Super Bowl came down to the last play.

  4. adebessi says: Feb 7, 2013 7:26 PM

    Jim Harbaugh was unplugging every extension cord he could find. Down 22 points and just sacked to face a 3rd and 13. He is definately on the crazy level.

  5. radrntn says: Feb 7, 2013 7:27 PM

    switch gear…….make sense… the gear was the commisioners hand on the switch that turned the power switch to the off position……..get real , in what was the biggest blow out in the history of the super bowl at the time, how many people would have switched channels with the score being 42-9 at the start of the 4th quarter.

    The league did the right thing. I just feel they could have turned the switch back on after about 15 to 20 minutes. 34 minutes was a bit excessive.

  6. mjkelly77 says: Feb 7, 2013 7:38 PM

    Everrything appears to be pointing at headcase jim hairbough paying an insider to pull the switch in an effort to stop the Ravens momentum.

  7. davereckon says: Feb 7, 2013 7:51 PM

    I heard it was The Saints illegal wiretap that shorted it out.

  8. stevent92 says: Feb 7, 2013 7:53 PM

    The football world is really on edge to hear the findings of this report.

  9. giantsfanlewis says: Feb 7, 2013 8:04 PM

    Superlightgate will be more popular of this site than bounty gate. Sorry saints fans one more year of getting picked on, this year for acrap stadium

  10. boogerhut says: Feb 7, 2013 8:11 PM

    csilojohnson says: Feb 7, 2013 7:25 PM

    BS, The power was thrown because ratings were dropping. Just a last ditch effort to swing the momentum. It worked. Yet another Super Bowl came down to the last play.
    ————————————————————
    Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Security Alert! csilojohnson has lost his tinfoil hat and stopped taking his meds. Last spotted in Daley Plaza wearing a tiedye shirt, too-too, and silver sneakers!

  11. dapell says: Feb 7, 2013 8:11 PM

    This is sort of my field so let me explain…

    Relays are essentially electrically operated switches. Switchgear is basically the electrical distribution center and protective circuit breakers for a building like a stadium. Modern switchgear is smart and monitored and controlled via computer or relays that contain computer controls. Unlike your home that has a bunch of circuits hooked up to your breaker box that are only wired one way, the electrical distribution in a building like the Superdome has relays that allow the stadium engineers to switch high-load devices from circuit to circuit to maximize load efficiency or make sure certain circuits and breakers aren’t overloaded.

    I’d bet that in order to supply power to something related to the halftime show a number of relays were flipped putting the electrical load for the halftime show on circuits also used for stadium lighting. Coming out of halftime the stadium engineer was supposed to flip those relays back to whatever configuration they were set for to handle the load of the lighting, AC, video boards, etc. The lights came back on, it took a few minutes for things to heat up, and eventually a breaker blew. The fact they could power back up in only half an hour actually proves the equipment did it’s job and there was no permanent damage.

  12. Stiller43 says: Feb 7, 2013 8:18 PM

    Does anyone, besides the person who was in charge of what caused it, care at all?

  13. 2jivecrew says: Feb 7, 2013 8:29 PM

    Its ok. The ravens won and all is good in the world. Back where we belong, world champions.

    ——————-

    “World” champions? Kinda hard to be a “world” champ without actually playing any competition from beyond your own borders. More like National Champs. Gotta love American arrogance.

  14. TheWizard says: Feb 7, 2013 8:59 PM

    Modern switchgear is smart

    What’s not smart are the engineers who design the little rooms they sit in, and people like me are employed to wrestle these 800 pound monsters in through doors not made for the purpose.

    I appreciate your dissertation, though. It increased my understanding of them.

  15. mjkelly77 says: Feb 7, 2013 9:18 PM

    The facts are beginning to point to jim hairbough paying an insider to pull the switch in an effort to stop the Ravens momentum.

  16. jondilly1974 says: Feb 7, 2013 9:35 PM

    @dapell it was reported that the halftime show was ran completely on generator power and was 100% isolated from the stadium power system.

  17. croghan1919 says: Feb 7, 2013 9:58 PM

    TheWizard says:

    Modern switchgear is smart

    What’s not smart are the engineers
    _________________________

    Engineers don’t design rooms. They USE the rooms that architects design.
    But your comment is hilarious regardless and in the true spirit of the craft vs. management battle that rages on.

    And regarding the football article… I hope Powergate doesn’t get legs.
    Machines break sometimes.

  18. randallflagg52 says: Feb 7, 2013 10:40 PM

    dapell says:
    Feb 7, 2013 8:11 PM
    This is sort of my field so let me explain…

    Relays are essentially electrically operated switches. Switchgear is basically the electrical distribution center and protective circuit breakers for a building like a stadium. Modern switchgear is smart and monitored and controlled via computer or relays that contain computer controls. Unlike your home that has a bunch of circuits hooked up to your breaker box that are only wired one way, the electrical distribution in a building like the Superdome has relays that allow the stadium engineers to switch high-load devices from circuit to circuit to maximize load efficiency or make sure certain circuits and breakers aren’t overloaded.

    I’d bet that in order to supply power to something related to the halftime show a number of relays were flipped putting the electrical load for the halftime show on circuits also used for stadium lighting. Coming out of halftime the stadium engineer was supposed to flip those relays back to whatever configuration they were set for to handle the load of the lighting, AC, video boards, etc. The lights came back on, it took a few minutes for things to heat up, and eventually a breaker blew. The fact they could power back up in only half an hour actually proves the equipment did it’s job and there was no permanent damage.

    ===================================

    Thanks for clearing that up Mr. Spock.

  19. irishking says: Feb 7, 2013 10:54 PM

    I heard through a reliable source that the CEO of the power company in New Orleans who lives in Indiana had to fly down there to help determine the cause of the glitch.

  20. marvsleezy says: Feb 7, 2013 11:03 PM

    Did you see 60 minutes sports on show time? They showed how they were literally running huge electrical lines out of the top of the building all the way down the outside specifically to handle the half time show – What could possibly go wrong?

  21. Deb says: Feb 7, 2013 11:18 PM

    @2jivecrew …

    Since the Ravens have beaten all other contenders in this particular sport in the world, they are, by definition, world champions. Gotta love the arrogance of people who seek out Americans for the sole purpose of ridiculing their arrogance. If you don’t like it, darlin’, don’t watch.

  22. turfrage says: Feb 7, 2013 11:37 PM

    That was a week ago. Who cares? It happened. It’s over. Move on!!!

  23. rabbdogg says: Feb 8, 2013 2:13 AM

    the relays where put in in November …hardly the 11th hour hater….new Orleans will have plenty more superbowls..like it or not…

  24. bobnelsonjr says: Feb 8, 2013 3:48 AM

    Whatever the cause the blackout was an embarrassment to the Superdome, New Orleans, The NFL, and America.

    CBS was one of the few beneficiaries. They got to air a lot more commercials at an expensive rate.

  25. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Feb 8, 2013 1:46 PM

    The “problem” it sensed was Beyonce’s halftime show.

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