Game Time Black Outs: 5 Power Outages that Shook the Sporting World

The Superdome was ecstatic after watching Super Bowl 2013’s electrifying and sultry half-time performance from Beyoncé, complete with the special appearance from Destiny’s Child.  And everyone was hyped when the second half kicked off with Jacoby Jones leading the Baltimore Ravens to a 22-point lead after a touchdown.

But just when you thought the Ravens had the Super Bowl in the bag, the Superdome suddenly went dark.  Literally.  The scoreboard and half of the overhead lights in the Superdome went out.  If it was a setting for a movie, you’d think that something bad was about to happen, like a horde of zombies rushing the field.  But alas, no zombies made an appearance.  Instead, the game was halted for more than 30 minutes as New Orleans electric utility Entergy Corp. and the Superdome management company, SMG, figured out what caused the outage.

Super Bowl 43 leaves the world in the dark


According to Entergy and SMG, an abnormality in the electrical load happened where “the Superdome equipment intersects with Entergy’s feed into the facility,” caused the outage, but the true cause of the mishap is still unknown.

After the outage, the San Francisco 49ers made a huge comeback, and almost bagged the Super Bowl.

“I felt our guys battled, they competed,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “We got a spark, and we weren’t going to look back. It was a heck of a football game.”

Nevertheless, the Ravens were able to fight for the title and in the end, won 34 to 31.

“It was like the whole season,” Reed, a native of the New Orleans area, said. “It started good. It got ugly. It ended great.”

Such a massive and poorly timed power outage may seem like a Hollywood script, but reality tends to prove far more outrageous than fiction.  Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time a power outage has affected the sporting world.

Game series cut short


On August 2003, parts of  Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Ontario, Canada, were hit with a power outage that lasted for two days.  The outage was caused by a software bug in the alarm system at a control room of the FirstEnergy Corporation in Ohio, but because operators were not aware that they needed to redistribute power after overloaded transmission lines hit unpruned foliage, the blackout was not quickly managed and resulted in a widespread distress.

Because of the blackout, the final game of three-game series between the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants was cancelled.  The Shea Stadium was evacuated an hour before the game started.

The Women’s National Basketball Association also had to postpone two games: the Houston Comets-Liberty game at Madison Square Garden and the Connecticut Sun-Cleveland Rockers Game at Gund Arena because of the outage.

Night-time soccer, anyone?


In October 2012, the football (soccer) match between Argentina and Brazil had to be called off due to a power failure that left half of Estadio Centenario in the dark.  Half of the floodlights at the venue were not functioning making it difficult for the players to see properly.  Chilean referee Enrique Osses called off the game.

A welcome outage


A power outage may be something most players won’t wish for, but in May 1988, it was welcomed by the Boston Bruins.  The Bruins was one game away from losing its shot at the Stanley Cup.  Game 4 of the match against Edmonton Oilers was one of the best games the Bruins had played with a 3-3 score before the game was rescheduled due to a power outage in the second period at the Boston Garden.  The Bruins were hoping to win the rescheduled Game 4 at Oiler’s turf, but in the end, The Oilers won by 6-3 and took home the Stanley Cup.