Officials Baffled by Monday Night Football Power Outage in San Francisco

The buildup to last night's highly-anticipated Monday Night Football Game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers was interrupted by a blackout in Candlestick Park, and officials are still trying to pin down the cause.
by | December 20, 2011

The last night's highly-anticipated Monday Night Football Game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers was interrupted by blackouts, and officials are still trying to pin down the cause, reports The San Francisco Chronicle.

About ten minutes before kickoff, the lights in San Francisco's Candlestick Park abruptly went out, leaving thousands of fans in the dark. ESPN's 32 cameras went out, and for fans watching around the country, the screen went black. That delayed the start of the game by nearly half an hour, as employees with the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) worked to repair a downed power line just outside the park.

The stadium once again went dark in the middle of the second quarter, delaying the game another 16 minutes. NFL officials told the Chronicle that if the problem couldn't be fixed, the game would resume Tuesday in Oakland.

Jeff Miller, the NFL vice president of security, said he saw an explosion outside the stadium before the second delay.

"The parking lot lights went out and two minutes later the transformer blew," he said to the Chroncle. "There were sparks everywhere."

Aerial cameras by ESPN captured the explosion. Footage, capture by YouTube user luanle1, was posted by The Sporting News this morning.

According to Sporting News columnist Lisa Olson, Candlestick Park is one of the oldest stadiums in North America, "a creaking wind tunnel with loads of charm." It was famously struck by an earthquake just before the start of Game 3 of the 1989 World Series.

Representatives from PG&E told the Chronicle they're still investigating the cause of both outages, but "there is no indication that PG&E equipment was involved in the second outage."

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Derek Quizon  |  Contributor

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