- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW ORLEANS -- On the morning after one of the most exciting finishes in Super Bowl history, I’m hearing some concern from local fans that the big game won’t be coming back to the Big Easy.
I think that’s a pessimistic attitude and it’s also not likely to be accurate.
Yes, the main lighting at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome shut down for about 34 minutes early in the second half. As the designated “emergency writer,’’ I got to spend much of Sunday night chasing that story and only being able to watch bits and pieces of a miraculous San Francisco comeback that ultimately fell short.
Officials are still trying to sort out exactly what caused the problem and I’m sure the NFL will be waiting, with great interest, to hear a full explanation. A lengthy interruption to one of the biggest spectacles in sports isn’t good.
But I don’t think this is going to cost New Orleans future Super Bowls (the city already is pursuing the 2018) game. Understandably, there’s a school of thought among many in the New Orleans area that the NFL has it out for the city.
The Saints and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell went through an ugly bounty scandal that dragged on for almost a full year. There might still be some bitterness flowing both ways on that one.
But the bounty scandal and the power outage are two completely different things. While far from ideal, the power outage seems to be a pure fluke and I’m sure it’s cause is something that can be prevented in the future.
Aside from the power outage, Super Bowl week went off in spectacular fashion by all accounts. New Orleans knows how to throw a party and the NFL knows that.
There might not be a better Super Bowl venue and I doubt the 32 owners, who make the decisions on where Super Bowls land, suddenly are going to frown on New Orleans due to one unfortunate and random event.
Sure, the technical people are going to have to convince the owners there won’t be another power outage in the future. But, as long as that’s done, I don’t see New Orleans having any problem landing future Super Bowls.
909dPat Yasinskas and Dan Graziano