SMG Hires Engineering Firm To Find Source Of Mercedes Benz Superdome Blackout

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NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the 34 minute power outage in the middle of the Super Bowl will not overshadow the game or the week leading up to it in New Orleans.

But the company that operates the dome, SMG, is vowing to get to the bottom of the problem and it’s bringing in a private engineering firm to act as a third-party investigator.

“We will leave no stone unturned,” said Entergy New Orleans CEO Charles Rice while standing next to SMG’s Doug Thornton.  Both men vow their companies will cooperate fully to find the source of the glitch.

Rice and Thornton agree the problem occurred at the point where Entergy’s responsibility for delivering the power ends and SMG’s begins.  The question is– on which side of that line did the problem begin?

SMG says during rehearsals for the halftime show, some power was lost.  But he says that is a common occurrence whenever a show first arrives at the Superdome and workers must determine its electrical needs.

“And yes, we had a couple of fuses blow.  There were a couple of circuits that were overloaded, but it had nothing to do with the power outage.  It’s totally unrelated,” Thornton said.

Just as the city made infrastructure improvements leading up to the game, so did SMG and Entergy.  Those improvements included new feeder cables that Thornton says meet all the necessary specs.

“We do not believe at this point that those are the root cause of this problem, but we will be investigating and testing to be certain,” he said.