Super Bowl Blackout Caused By Faulty Electrical Relay Device, Utility Company Says

By: CBS.com (Posted by Ariana Cohen)
By: CBS.com (Posted by Ariana Cohen)

NEW ORLEANS -A power company says the cause of the Super Bowl blackout was a faulty device that had been installed to prevent a failure of electric cables leading to the Superdome.

Officials of Entergy New Orleans say the device, called a relay, had been installed to protect the stadium from a cable failure between the company's incoming power line and lines that run into the stadium.

Company officials said the device performed without problem during January's Sugar Bowl and other earlier events.

They said the device has been removed and replacement equipment will be installed.

The power failure cut lights to about half of the stadium for 34 minutes, halting play between the Baltimore ravens and San Francisco 49ers.

The lights-out championship game proved an embarrassment for New Orleans just when it was hoping to show the rest of the world how far it has come since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But many fans were forgiving, and officials expressed confidence that the episode wouldn't hurt the city's hopes of hosting the championship again.

To New Orleans' relief, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the city did a "terrific" job hosting its first pro-football championship in the post-Katrina era.

"I fully expect that we will be back here for Super Bowls," he said, noting a backup power system was poised to kick in but wasn't needed once the lights came back.

Fans watching from home weren't deterred, either. An estimated 108.4 million television viewers saw the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31, making it the third-most-viewed program in television history. Both the 2010 and 2011 games hit the 111 million mark.

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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