Superdome power failure remains a mystery


New Orleans, La. - The city of New Orleans held a news conference Tuesday. The half hour power outage on Super Bowl Sunday took a back seat to the city's Super Bowl week victories, but it couldn't be ignored.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu started off with a joke. "But I agree with this also, that we read on Twitter -- who hasn't blacked out in New Orleans," said Mayor Landrieu with a chuckle.  he added, "The power outage was an unfortunate moment for us and you can be sure that we'll get to the bottom of it."

Outside sources are already trying to get to the bottom of it. CNN obtained letters and memos that show there were power system concerns in the months leading up to the big game. In a memo dated October 10, 2012, an outside engineer hired by the Dome states, "Based on test results, the Superdome's main and only electrical feed... are not sufficiently reliable to support the high-profile event schedule."

"And in response to that, Entergy and Superdome services constructed a whole new vault so that the concerns that were brought out in those memos were addressed," said Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, chairwoman of the City Council's utilities committee. Hedge-Morrell has called an emergency meeting with Entergy representatives and others -- it's set for Friday.

The Superdome's management and Entergy are working together to get their own outside assessment. "We felt that it was important, with Entergy's cooperation, to hire an independent engineering firm so that we could quickly get started on an evaluation to determine what the route cause of this problem may be," said Superdome manager Doug Thornton.

"Right now I think it would be premature for either of us to make a statement as to what exactly happened.  But I can tell you this, we will leave no stone unturned as to find out what exactly happened," said Charles Rice, president of Entergy New Orleans.

Finding and fixing the problem is a must, as New Orleans plans to make a bid for the 2018 Super Bowl.

"The 34 minutes of darkness will never overshadow or outshine the city of New Orleans and how we performed this Super Bowl week," said Mayor Landrieu.

The outage didn't seem to bother fans at home. The game was the third most viewed program in television history.