|Superdome officials worried about Super Bowl power outage since October||02.05.13 at 12:42 pm ET|
The 34-minute power outage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans during Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday night was nearly as big of a story as the game itself. Evidently, officials at the stadium have been worried since October about a potential issue occurring at the league’s big game.
A memo from Oct. 15 mentioned tests on the electrical feeders that connect incoming power from utility lines to the stadium showing decay and a “chance of failure.” The documents also show the utility that supplies the stadium expressed concern about the reliability of the service before the Super Bowl. The memo was prepared for the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District (LSED), the state body responsible for the Superdome.
In result of this, authorities authorized spending nearly $1 million on Superdome improvements, including more than $600,000 spent on upgrading the dome’s electrical feeder cable system. All of this work was done in December.
“As discussed in previous board meetings, this enhancement is necessary to maintain both the Superdome and the New Orleans Arena as top tier facilities, and to ensure that we do not experience any electrical issues during the Super Bowl,” read an LSED document dated Dec. 19.
Superdome commission records show a $513,250 contract to replace feeder cables was awarded to Allstar Electric, a company based in suburban New Orleans.
Though this was a very unfortunate moment for New Orleans and the stadium, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he felt that the city did a great job in hosting its first pro football championship in the post-Hurricane Katrina era.
“I fully expect that we will be back here for Super Bowls,” Goodell said. He also added that a backup power system was ready to be used but was unnecessary once the lights came back on.
This was the third consecutive year that the Super Bowl was viewed by over 108 million people. In fact, the 108.4 million viewers made the game the third-most-viewed program in television history, trailing only the two most recent games.
Superdome officials plan to make a bid for hosting the Super Bowl in 2018.
|Saints’ home field to be renamed Mercedes-Benz Superdome||10.05.11 at 11:26 am ET|
German automaker Mercedes Benz has purchased the naming rights for the¬†Louisiana¬†Superdome, the home of the Saints and numerous other high-profile sporting events in the near future.
Mercedes Benz bought the 10-year naming rights for an undisclosed price. The famous New Orleans stadium — now called the Mercedes-Benz Superdome — will be host to both the Sugar Bowl and the BCS college football championship in January 2012, the NCAA men’s Final Four basketball championship in April 2012 and the Super Bowl in 2013.
After being ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Superdome was rebuilt and reopened for the 2006 Saints season. A refuge during the hurricane, the stadium became one symbol of New Orleans’ rebirth following the disaster. Ernst Lieb, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz USA, said that the successful rebuilding of the Superdome gave the automaker confidence to invest in the stadium.
“I don’t think three or four years ago, Mercedes-Benz would have thought about going into a relationship like this,” Lieb said.
The Superdome opened in 1975 and has hosted both Pope John Paul II in 1987 and the Republican National Convention in 1988. It is also where the Patriots won their first Super Bowl in 2002.
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