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Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEWORLEANS-- It was 34 minutes of agony for football fans as half the Mercedes-Benz Superdome lost power during this past Super Bowl.

With a new NFL season just around the corner, Superdome managers are upgrading the stadium's electrical system by replacing aging equipment with the state of the art.

'We did put a higher emphasis and priority on the replacement of the transformers in the light ring because those are so critical to the operation of the facility for a football game and everybody knows what happened here during the Super Bowl,' said Superdome and SMG Executive VP Doug Thornton.

Half of that light ring went dark shortly after half-time.

'We replaced the 480-volt distribution system up there, so we have brand new transformers which have greater capacity, more efficiency and better life span than what we had before,' said Thornton.

Thornton says the computer system that controls the lights will also be replaced.

'We're getting an entirely new software program that will allow us to program different lighting scenes in the bowl for football, monster trucks, concerts and what have you.'

Thornton says the cause of the Super Bowl outage is a non-issue this season.

'The problem that we experienced with Super Bowl was attributed to a faulty relay device in the Entergy switch gear which has been taken out of service by Entergy, so that problem has been resolved and is no longer affecting us.'

Upgrades to the Superdome electrical system were done with money set aside for ongoing capital improvements to the stadium.

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