Super Bowl Power Outage Stops Play

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 3 2013 9:18 PM

Super Bowl Power Outage Stops Play

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A partial power outage during the third quarter causes a 34 minute delay in the game during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

The power went out in half of the Superdome on Sunday during the third quarter of the Super Bowl, cutting the lights to, among other things, the scoreboard and the CBS broadcasting team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms.

The outage stopped play with the Ravens leading the 49ers 28-6. The players were kept on the field, and CBS' ample crew of sideline reporters and pre-game yakkers were left to fill and fill and fill, with the NFL unwilling to provide an official explanation of what caused the power to go out.

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Power service to the Superdome has never been interrupted, meaning the blackout affecting the 2013 Super Bowl is on the Dome's end, according to Energy New Orleans spokesman Philip Allison.

The San Francisco 49ers have recent experience with power outages. In December 2011, two power outages plagued a Monday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in San Francisco. (The 49ers won that game 20-3.) In that case, the city admitted it was at least partially at fault.

The outage delayed the game for 35 minutes. Play resumed once lights were restored, picking up where it left off in the third quarter.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.

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