NEW YORK (AP) — MetLife Stadium has passed a power test in preparations for February’s Super Bowl, an organizer announced Thursday, as the NFL hopes to avoid a repeat of last winter’s power outage at New Orleans’ Superdome that delayed the game a half hour.
A recent test of electrical systems at the Meadowlands sports complex in East Rutherford, N.J., was successful but for a few minor issues, said Al Kelly, head of the host committee for the Super Bowl. He would not be more specific.
Speaking at a meeting of business leaders in midtown Manhattan, Kelly said the test was conducted on a recent weekend when both the New York Giants and New York Jets played road games.
All the buildings in the Meadowlands complex, including the Izod Center and Meadowlands Racetrack, were powered up at the same time to simulate conditions for the Super Bowl. Other tests were done, also, he said.
“It did very well,” Kelly said.
At last February’s game, the partial power outage delayed the Super Bowl matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers by 34 minutes. An outside expert hired by New Orleans utility Entergy and Superdome management concluded the outage was caused by a design flaw in an electrical relay device. Entergy said it had installed the device specifically to prevent a power failure at the game.
Kelly said he has had numerous meetings with Public Service Electric & Gas, the utility that provides power to the Meadowlands. He said safeguards have been taken, including replacing some equipment and adding others, planning for bringing in additional generators and adding extra security to guard against the possibility of sabotage.
The Super Bowl next year will be the first held outdoors in a cold-weather locale. Kelly joked that as soon as the power failure occurred at the Superdome, he almost welcomed the opportunity to talk about something “other than the weather.”
Friday marks 100 days until the game, and Kelly, Jets owner Woody Johnson and Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch said Thursday they hope to set a new standard for Super Bowl host cities so that a cold-weather site could be selected again.
One challenge, they all agreed, is transportation.
Organizers have dubbed the game the first “public transportation Super Bowl” and are encouraging fans to take trains or buses. They said Thursday that about half of MetLife Stadium’s 25,000-plus parking spaces will be taken up by security personnel and equipment.