Super Bowl blackout cause still unknown

16:00, Feb 05 2013

The cause of a 34-minute blackout at the Super Bowl remains under investigation, but public records show Superdome officials were worried about a power outage several months before the big game on Sunday (local time).

An October 15 memo released on Monday (Tuesday, NZ time) by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, which oversees the Superdome, said tests on the dome's electrical feeders showed they had "some decay and a chance of failure".

The memo also said 2011 blackouts that struck Candlestick Park, where the San Francisco 49ers were playing a nationally televised Monday night football game, was one reason for ordering the tests.

The state board later authorised spending nearly US$1 million on Superdome improvements, including more than US$600,000 for upgrading the dome's electrical feeder cable system.

The cause wasn't Beyonce's electrifying halftime performance, according to Doug Thornton, manager of the state-owned Superdome, since the singer had her own generator.

And it apparently wasn't a case of too much demand for power.

While declining to be specific, NFL vice president of business operations Eric Grubman said the league has "backup plans" for continuing the game.

Those plans all focus on playing the full 60 minutes, regardless of whether it is the same day or on another day.

So the Ravens, ahead 28-6 at the time of the partial blackout, wouldn't have simply been declared the winners.

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AP