Local

Could a similar power outage happen at Reliant Stadium if Houston hosts Super Bowl in 2017?

Monday, February 04, 2013
Reliant Stadium

Reliant Stadium will compete to host Super Bowl LI in February 2017. The site last hosted the Super Bowl back in 2004.

The city of Houston would like to host another Super Bowl, so when we saw what happened Sunday night during Super Bowl XLVII, we wondered if the same thing could happen here and possibly affect our chances at hosting Super Bowl LI.

Millions of people were watching when the Superdome in New Orleans suddenly went dark, and it took more than half an hour for power to be fully restored and for the game to continue.

Reliant Stadium officials say they have redundancy here, and that the likelihood of a similar power outage is slim in part because multiple electrical lines feed the stadium.

"You'd think that maybe they'd have done a little bit more to prevent it," said viewer John Beer.

Superdome and Entergy officials say the outage happened when a piece of equipment monitoring electrical load sense what they call an "abnormality" and opened a breaker, partially cutting power. Fans who watched the 34-minute delay can't understand how this wasn't avoidable.

"I would think they'd have better systems to prevent that and I'm sure Houston would be on top of that," Beer said.

Houston had no power issues when it hosted the Super Bowl back in 2004. And as the city ramps up its bid for the 2017 game, those leading the effort say they look at what happened in New Orleans as scenario from which to learn.

"We're gonna make sure it doesn't happen here, but I don't think that it's gonna be a problem," said Greg Ortell with the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Ortell speaks on behalf of the committee looking to bring a Super Bowl back to Houston. He says the NFL will likely be the driving force, demanding that better plans be put in place to ensure no such power outage occurs ever again during a Super Bowl.

Reliant Park General Manager Mark Miller tells Eyewitness News that the breakers did apparently what they are designed to do -- prevent an electrocution or fire. He says, "...you could have power abnormalities on the line side or the load side...", noting that there was a power issue during a Texans game at Reliant four or five years ago caused by a mylar balloon that got caught in a transmission line.

Miller says it was a freak occurrence, much like Sunday's blackout.

Houston is up against either San Francisco or Miami for Super Bowl LI in 2017. The owners are expected to vote on the site in May.

The committee will go to Boston in May to try to convince owners to award Houston Super Bowl LI in February 2017.

Reliant Stadium will get new HD video screen displays, part of an upgrade to make the stadium more attractive to host the Super Bowl.

Houston will compete with whatever city doesn't land the 50th anniversary Super Bowl the year before. San Francisco and Miami are fighting for that game.
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Tags:
nfl, reliant stadium, local, kevin quinn
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