The outage, blamed on an unspecified ‘abnormality’ in the Superdome’s power system, was an embarrassment for New Orleans, which was hosting its first Super Bowl since 2002 and was eager to show off how it has been rebuilt since Hurricane Katrina.
… The Ravens had been cruising along with a 28-6 lead in the game when, without warning, the power to the Superdome suddenly shut down early in the third quarter, plunging parts of the 38-year-old stadium into darkness and leaving TV viewers with no football and no explanation why.
… For 34 minutes, the players tried to stay loose, the fans milled about in darkened corridors, and stadium officials scrambled to figure out what went wrong. …
Escalators stopped working and credit-card machines shut down, though auxiliary power kept the playing field and concourses from going totally dark.
… The problem occurred shortly after Beyonce put on a halftime show that featured extravagant lighting and video effects.
… On the CBS broadcast, play-by-play announcers Jim Nantz and Phil Simms went silent. Sideline reporter Steve Tasker announced to viewers a ‘click of the lights’ as the problem. Later, the halftime crew anchored by host James Brown returned to fill the time with football analysis.