NEW ORLEANS - About two minutes into the second half of the Super Bowl, much of the lighting in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome went out, plunging the field into darkness and delaying the game for more than 30 minutes.
Power returned around 8:05 p.m.
A statement released late Sunday night blamed the outage on an "abnormality in the system."
"Shortly after the beginning of the second half of the Super Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, a piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system. Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue.
"Backup generators kicked in immediately as designed. Entergy and SMG subsequently coordinated start up procedures, ensuring that full power was safely restored to the Superdome.
"The fault-sensing equipment activated where the Superdome equipment intersects with Entergy’s feed into the facility."
The statement said "there were no additional issues detected."
"We sincerely apologize for the incident," said Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan.
Investigative Reporter David Hammer said Entergy has told him that the issue was one at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, because power was flowing to the arena and the issue had to be in house.
Entergy confirmed Hammer's report on its Twitter account, saying that it was a "customer issue."
"At all times, Entergy’s distribution and transmission feeders were serving the Mercedes-Benz Superdome," the company said in a statement. "We continue working with Superdome personnel to address any outstanding issues."
The outage delayed the Super Bowl with the Ravens leading 28-6. The 49ers staged a furious comeback afterward, cutting the margin to 28-23 by the end of the third quarter. The Ravens won the game 34-31.
In what has been a fantastic week for New Orleans hosting the Super Bowl, the outage will be a negative, but the question is how much of a negative.