Monday, February 4, 2013
Roger Goodell: 'We want to be back'
By Jamison Hensley ESPN.com
NEW ORLEANS -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Sunday's 34-minute blackout won't impact the city of New Orleans' chances of hosting another Super Bowl.
"I fully expect that we will be back here for Super Bowls," he said Monday morning. "And I hope we will be back. We want to be back."
The outage was blamed on an unspecified "abnormality" in the Superdome's power system.
Goodell said there was another alternative if the blackout had continued. According to Goodell, there was a backup system that was ready to get rebooted when the lights were restored.
"This is clearly something that can be fixed, and it's clearly something that we can prepare for," he said. "And we will."
Superdome and utility officials were still trying to nail down the precise cause of the 34-minute Super Bowl, but league officials said that, because of the backup system, the game wasn't in danger of being postponed.
"That was not a consideration last night," NFL vice president of business operations Eric Grubman said at a news conference Monday. "That is not what was at play."
Grubman said Goodell has the "sole authority" to enforce any contingency plans, and was in perfect position to do so Sunday night.
"He was there and he had the full reports," Grubman said. "We were quickly able to determine we did not have a situation that would cause a permanent interruption in the game. There were no safety issues, we had multiple equipment and sources of power."
Larry Roedel, a lawyer for the state board that oversees the Superdome, said Monday that the outage did not appear to be related to work done on the stadium's electrical system in December. The work, approved by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District last fall, replaced feeder equipment connecting the stadium to power provider Entergy New Orleans.
Doug Thornton, manager of the Superdome, said that when the power outage hit, meters indicated the stadium was drawing less power than it does during a typical New Orleans Saints game.
Thornton said millions of dollars have been spent upgrading electrical equipment in the building since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, and none of it failed. He said it was working properly when power was restored.
He also said there is no evidence that the halftime show had anything to do with the outage, which struck early in the third quarter. He said the show used its own dedicated generator and wasn't using the Superdome's power supply.
This was New Orleans' first Super Bowl since 2002, and the city was eager to show off how it has been rebuilt since Hurricane Katrina.
"We knew they have an interest in future Super Bowls, and we look forward to evaluating that," Goodell said. "Going forward, I don't think this will have any impact at all on what I think will be remembered for one of the greatest Super Bowl weeks."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.