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Super Bowl: Power outage halts play (video)

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(AP/ABC7) - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the Superdome had a backup power system that was about to be used during the Super Bowl electrical outage but it wasn't needed because power started coming back at that time.

The Louisiana Superdome lost power early in the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl. Photo: Associated Press

Goodell says Monday that the backup system was ready, but Entergy New Orleans, which provides power to the stadium, and Superdome operator SMG were able to reboot the original system.

The 34-minute delay in the third quarter forced the league to consider contingency plans if the game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers couldn't resume. But NFL vice president of business operations Eric Grubman says there was virtually no chance of not being able to continue play Sunday night.

Baltimore led 28-6 when the lights went out, and wound up winning 34-31.

During the outage, officials stopped play about 1 and ½ minutes into the third quarter, and the bizarre delay lasted 34 minutes in real time before action resumed.

Some players sat. Others stretched. Some fans chanted, "Let's go, Ravens!" Others passed time by doing the wave.

Announcers stated it was a power surge.

Philip Allison, a spokesman for Entergy New Orleans, which provides power to the stadium, said power had been flowing into the stadium before the lights failed.

"All of our distribution and transmission feeds going into the Superdome were operating as expected," Allison said.

He said the outage appeared to originate in a failure of equipment maintained by stadium staff. It occurred shortly after Beyonce put on a 12-minute halftime show that featured extravagant lighting and video effects.

On the CBS broadcast, the play-by-play announcers went silent.

CBS sideline reporter Steve Tasker announced the problem of a "click of the lights" to viewers. Later, the halftime crew anchored by host James Brown returned to fill the time with football analysis. Brown said a power surge caused the outage.

"We lost all power up here at the press box level," play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz said after power was restored. He and announcer Phil Simms were off the air for most of the 34-minute outage.

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