The mystery of the Super Bowl power outage has been solved. According to reports from the Associated Press the blackout was caused by the failure of a machine that was supposed to prevent a blackout. The device is called a relay, and it went out at the worst possible time.
The [electrical relay] device was specifically installed to protect Mercedes-Benz Superdome equipment in the event of a cable failure between the switchgear and the stadium.
While the relay functioned without issue during a number of high-profile events – including the New Orleans Bowl, the New Orleans Saints–Carolina Panthers game, and the Sugar Bowl – during Sunday's game, the relay device triggered, signaling a switch to open when it should not have. This is what caused the partial outage.
The device has since been removed from service and new replacement equipment is being evaluated.
Entergy, who was so adamant in their now deleted tweet during the game that they weren’t at fault, now have to take the rap. If people haven't learned by now, this should be the ultimate reminder of why you should think very carefully before you tweet.
SMG, the Superdome’s managing company, expressed prior concerns about a potential outage. I have a feeling we haven't heard the end of this by a long shot. We still haven't heard from the manufacturer of the relay as of yet. Both SMG and Entergy have expressed a desire to have an independant investigation on the matter.
Either way it has to be a terrible feeling to take preventive measures and still have things go wrong.