Super Bowl 2013 Power Outage: Control Room Video, Internet Reacts, Interpol

Written by Gina Smith

For 35 minutes starting early in the 3rd quarter, a Super Bowl 2013 power outage had social networks freaking. Game play resumed, but what the heck happened? New Orleans Fire Department said there was a smell of gas and a stalled elevator. Power surges also were reported. NFL reps say they are investigating. Developing. Lights out at the Superdome. Why? Power failure? Possible match-fixing like what the Europol found in Europe? Check it out. Within a few seconds of the third quarter power outage at the NFL Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans, the tweets began. The power was out for fully 35 minutes. It’ll be forever known as the Super Bowl 2013 Power Outage, and the crowds online went wild.

National Football League (NFL) reps say they are soon to release a statement on the cause of the power outage. So far, New Orleans officials have alternately reported the smell of gas, electrical surges and stalled elevators to the pause that stalled a Baltimore Ravens surge. It’ll be a controversial victory … as Yahoo just pointed out, it’s pretty hard to argue that the power outage didn’t contribute to a major momentum shift. And, we should add, a far smaller payout to gamblers.

Click here for a CBS News video, posted on Vanity Fair, that explained what it was like in the control room from the perspective of someone inside the Superdome during the Super Bowl 47 35-minute power outage.

Here’s an excerpt from thate Vanity Fair Hollywood blog, which posted the CBS video linked to, above. It gives you an idea of the mayhem inside the Superdome control room.

The mood in the control room begins to approach frantic only when Doug Thornton, an executive at the company that owns the Superdome, SMG, delivers some cryptic bad news that neither we nor Supovitz can understand.

Thornton: “Frank, we lost the A feed.”

Supovitz: “What does that mean?”

Thornton: “That means that we have to do the bus time?”

Supovitz: “What does that mean?”

Supovitz: “That means about a 20-minute delay.”

Update: Superdome officials say only there was an “abnormality” in its electrical system, but the power outage is still being investigated. .

An investigation makes sense. Imagine what the payout had been if there had been a 20-point spread in favor of the underdog team, which is how it was standing before the 35-minute blackout. Scroll below to check out details about a Europol investigating into so-called “matchfixing” by crime groups. So the Ravens won by a 2 point spread. Imagine the blown bookie records — if this blackout and resulting 49ers sort of comeback had not occurred at all.

I mean, look at this.

Play resumed at 8:10 p.m. Central.

From Vikings running back and newly minted NFL MVP @AdrianPeterson on Twitter:

What’s the odds of this happening? That New Orleans voodoo …

From @xiallophone

there’s a power outage at the Super Bowl because the creators of HSM2 want people to watch that instead pass it on …

+Justin Krezelak wrote:

I just keep picturing a maintenance guy curled up in a corner sobbing next to a giant breaker box.

+Lauren Still in San Francisco told us her theory:

(Officials) remodeled the dome and kept outdated, inefficient lighting. Failure mode should surprise no one.

After heavy hacker attacks on Twitter earlier this week, the 35 minute delay at the SuperBowl jarred a lot of nerves online. According to

Police officials said too much electricity was being pumped into the Superdome, causing a surge, and it took time to return power to the building … The New Orleans Fire Department was called to investigate a smell of gas near the Superdome’s elevator No. 8, New Orleans police Sgt. T.J. St. Pierre said. There is no fire, police said, but the elevator has stalled on the seventh floor, according to police radio. The majority of lights failed shortly after Jacoby Jones returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown.

+John Stutsman in Chatham, Illinois added a welcome tech pro perspective, too.

The power feed was bumped causing the ATO to switch to a alternate feed but the dropoff caused the lights to restart that takes 15 min — just a guess on my part :)

Marketers at major brands took quick advantage of the blackout.

Tweeted @Walgreens:

We do carry candles ..

The UK Guardian covered a story about a Europol investigation into sports match-fixing my crime groups. Excerpt below. Read full story here.

Speaking in The Hague, Europol said that they had uncovered an organised crime syndicate based in Asia that was co-ordinating the operation, with around425 match officials, club officials, players and criminals under suspicion … Europol, which has been investigating for 18 months, said suspected matches included World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, two Champions League ties and “several top football matches in European leagues.”

They said that criminals put €16m on rigged matches and made €8m in profits. Payments of €2m are thought to have been paid to those involved, while investigators said that the biggest payment to an individual was €140,000 … Europol believes a crime syndicate based in Asia was liaising with criminal networks throughout Europe. It believes match-fixing has taken place in 15 countries and 50 people have so far been arrested. Officials said they feared this was the “tip of the iceberg.”

Update: NFL officials says equipment failure contributed to the blackout that affected the point spread during the NFL Super Bowl 2013 game. New Orleans fire and police officials said so. Interesting.

For, I’m Gina Smith.


  • Sounds like a workable conspiracy theory that doesn’t sound like that much of a conspiracy theory. Like you said, paying out to gamblers with a 20 point spread favoring the underdog Ravens probably uld’ve made head roll. Maybe someone made a call. Hello, New Orleans? This is Vegas. Do something quick. Shut off the power or something. This point spread is going to be WAY to wide. LOL.