With 100 million viewers and after spending over $336 million dollars after the destruction from Katrina on the New Orleans Superdome, you would think that the power company could at least keep the power on until the end of the game!
A joint statement from Entergy New Orleans, which provides power to the stadium, and Superdome operator SMG shed some light on the chain of events, although they weren’t sure about the source of the problem. It apparently started at the spot where Entergy feeds power into the stadium’s lines.
“A piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system,” the statement said. “Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue. … Entergy and SMG will continue to investigate the root cause of the abnormality.”
No matter what size of production you are planning there is always the opportunity for something to go wrong. Hopefully it will never be as big and take as long as 34 minutes to fix like the SuperBowl size problem did this weekend.
That still leaves the question about a back up plan? Every event should be planned with a back up in mind, trying to think through all the contingencies and working ahead of the game on how it could be fixed asap.
On the phone today with a colleague in NY and he said that he heard Beyonce mention that they lost power twice during rehearsals, after the first outage that would have been my cue to have a redundant backup plan in place! My next call would have been to Aggrekko Generators. Interestingly enough the half time show was run off additional generators, so maybe the production guys did take fair warning?
The moral of this story is, after all the planning has been finalized, always have a back up plan that can go into place should the need arise.