NEW ORLEANS - After the power outage seen around the world, the company that manages the Mercedes-Benz Superdome wants to take action so that the show could go on in case it ever happens again.
“We had an interruption in our power service that was caused by a faulty relay device that was located in an Entergy switch gear that was located about a half a mile from the Superdome,” said Doug Thornton, Vice President of SMG, the company that manages the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The board that oversees the Superdome and the arena, the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, or LSED, met for the first time since the outage Wednesday.
“This may not have been our fault, but it became our problem during the event,” Thornton told the board.
Both the Superdome and Entergy have agreed, a faulty switch gear caused the embarrassing outage. It took twenty minutes for Entergy to restore the power and another 12 to get the dome computer systems rebooted.
“It requires us to disconnect 225 switches. The water pumps go down, the HVAC goes down, the elevators, escalators go down. All of that has to be restarted,” Thornton said.
The board learned Wednesday that a third-party review of what happened during the Super Bowl just started last week. But that's not the only investigation into the power system that Thornton is recommending.
“What we found during that outage was the systems worked properly, there's no problem with that. But there are certain operating systems that are not on the emergency power grid such as score boards or video boards,” he said.
Plus, water pumps for the bathrooms and the air conditioning and heating system are not on the Superdome's emergency power system, something Thornton said they may want try and change. Thornton emphasized, however, that the current building does meet and exceed emergency power building code requirements.
Even without the change to the power infrastructure, leaders on the board, including Chairman Ron Forman, said they are still hopeful the NFL Owners will award the city another Super Bowl.
“We feel confident that it's gonna lead to a good effort to get the 2018 Super Bowl,” Forman said.
Thornton said they have not been given a time line for completion of the thirty-party investigation, but it's expected to take a few weeks.