A power outage struck twice last night at Candlestick Park, the home of NFL team San Francisco 49ers. Right before the start of the game, darkness came over the stadium for about 30 minutes while maintenance crews and electricians worked at booting up the backup system.
Nearly 90 minutes later, the stadium went dark again, and the lights were out for 20 minutes before coming back online—and staying that way for the rest of the evening.
A power problem outside of the stadium was believed to be the culprit, and a spokesman for the 49ers stated that a blown transformer was believed to be the reason. This seemed to be backed up by video replays of the first blackout as it occurred, when a lightning-like flash was seen in the area northwest of the stadium just before it went dark.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for PG&E said that crews had located a downed power line outside the stadium but were not sure it was the reason for the initial outage. The company also said it had no theory on what had caused the second loss of stadium power.
In both instances, the stadium went totally black for a short time before emergency lighting switched on in several parts of the facility.
Social media technology came into play during the evening. This is because the stadium’s public address system stopped working when the power went out, and team officials encouraged the media to use Twitter to reach fans with updates and encourage them not to panic.
The blackouts occurred against the backdrop of recent news that the San Francisco 49ers plan to move to a new stadium in Santa Clara, CA. Groundbreaking on the new facility is planned for this coming spring and is estimated to cost $1 billion. The 1.85 million square foot facility will seat 68,500 and feature 165 luxury suites and 9,000 club seats. It will be designed with multi-purpose flexibility to host a wide range of events including, domestic and international soccer, college football, motocross, concerts, and various civic events, and is expandable for major events such as the Super Bowl.