Outage stops Super Bowl for 34 minutes

NEW ORLEANS – The Super Bowl was halted because of a power outage Sunday, plunging parts of the Superdome into darkness and leading to a 34-minute delay in the biggest game of the year.

The Baltimore Ravens were leading the San Francisco 49ers 28-6 when most of the lights in the 73,000-seat building went out with 13:22 left in the third quarter.

Auxiliary power kept the playing field from going totally dark, but escalators stopped working and the concourses were only illuminated by small banks of lights tied in to emergency service.

Philip Allison, a spokesman for Entergy New Orleans, which provides power to the stadium, said power had been flowing into the stadium before the lights failed.

“All of our distribution and transmission feeds going into the Superdome were operating as expected,” Allison said.

He said the outage appeared to originate in a failure of equipment maintained by stadium staff. It occurred shortly after Beyonce put on a 12-minute halftime show that featured extravagant lighting and video effects.

On the CBS broadcast, the play-by-play announcers went silent.

CBS sideline reporter Steve Tasker announced the problem of a “click of the lights” to viewers. Later, the halftime crew anchored by host James Brown returned to fill the time with football analysis. Brown said a power surge caused the outage.

Officials gathered on the field and appeared to be talking to stadium personnel. Finally, the lights came back on throughout the dome and the game resumed.

“Let’s go!” referee Jerome Boger said to the teams.