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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- As The Rock and John Cena battled in the main event of WrestleMania 29 at MetLife Stadium on April 7, those charged with making Super Bowl XLVIII run smoothly kept a close eye on the night's proceedings.
No, they didn't care who won the main event (Cena pinned The Rock). They were interested in how MetLife Stadium handled such a mega-voltage event. An event, using approximately 18 megawatts of power, that would reflect what the stadium would have to endure on Feb. 2, 2014.
"WrestleMania was a really good test for us," Public Service Electric and Gas Co. president Ralph LaRossa said Thursday at a news conference. "Not a lot of people look at it that way but if you look at the load that came in for WrestleMania, it really gave us the ability to test real-life situations."
To ensure there won't be a power outage at the NFL's biggest game, as there was last year in New Orleans, MetLife Stadium's energy and power operations are being put to the test. A test was run in September that simulated the power load for the Super Bowl, but it wasn't an actual event.
WrestleMania, however, gave the stadium a real-life test. Granted, there are differences between a wrestling pay-per-view event and hosting an NFL game, but the system is still being tested for real use. The lights, explosions, people, sound system, etc., are all in line with what the Super Bowl will have to account for in February.
Bill Labos, PSE&G director of asset reliability, said the food and vendors for WrestleMania 29 were helpful because the September test couldn't specifically mimic that production.
"WrestleMania had all that, they had a tremendous load that was going on," Labos said. "The place was packed with people. It's a very good test. At that point we did well on that."
Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.