Goodell: New Orleans will host another Super Bowl - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Goodell: New Orleans will host another Super Bowl despite outage

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New Orleans, La. -

The 34-minute long power outage in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday night won't affect New Orleans' chances of hosting another Super Bowl.  That's according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  Still, Goodell and many other people want to know what caused the outage.

For 34 minutes, fans inside the Superdome sat in partial darkness, with no air conditioning or running water inside the facility.  The power outage garnered plenty of negative attention, but the NFL says it shouldn't be a reflection on the entire Super Bowl experience in New Orleans.

NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman says, "When you look at it from the perspective of how much fun people had for a full week, how flawlessly the city hosted the Super Bowl and all the fans, and the teams, I think there's no question that this looms actually pretty small in the grand scheme of things."

So what could have caused the lights to go out?  SMG vice-president Doug Thornton says the Dome was using less power than it typically does on Saints game days because so many outside groups, such as the different TV networks, brought in their own source of power. And the halftime show featuring Beyonce was entirely powered by a generator.

Thornton says, "The truth is the interruption in service didn't occur inside the building. We could not receive the power from the Entergy vault.  The substation that supplies us with the power has a piece of equipment in it that detected some abnormalities and it did what it was supposed to do -- it opened the switch, basically a breaker, which shunted the power we were receiving from Entergy and de-energized the building."

But an Entergy spokesperson tells FOX 8, "Our service from the sub-station into the dome was operating properly."

Entergy President and CEO Charles Rice says an investigation will be launched.

"We're going to work closely with SMG to get to the root of the problem. We both had contingencies in place. We both followed our protocols which we set up, which we met continuously during the week. We both made excellent preparations for an event like this and the system worked the way it was supposed to work," Rice said.

Commissioner  Goodell says it's important to learn what happened so that such situations can be avoided in the future. In the meantime, he says the city shouldn't worry about losing out on a bid to host another Super Bowl.

"I do not think this will have an impact on future Super Bowls here in New Orleans. I fully expect we'll be back here for Super Bowls," Goodell said.

 Thornton says this is the very first time anything like this has ever happened inside the Superdome. The venue has had millions of dollars in renovations done to it in recent years, including some recent electrical work in December. But Thornton doesn't think any of the recent work could have been the cause for the power outage Sunday night.

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