The cause of a 34-minute blackout at the Super Bowl remains under investigation, but public records released Monday show that Superdome officials were worried about a power outage several months before the big game.
An Oct. 15 memo released by the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District, which oversees the Superdome, says tests on the dome's electrical feeders showed they had "some decay and a chance of failure."
The memo also cites 2011 blackouts that struck Candlestick Park, where the 49ers were playing a nationally televised Monday night game, as a reason for ordering the tests.
The board later authorized spending nearly $1 million on Superdome improvements, including more than $600,000 for upgrading the dome's electrical feeder cable system.
"As discussed in previous board meetings, this enhancement is necessary ... to ensure that we do not experience any electrical issues during the Super Bowl," says a LSED document dated Dec. 19.
An attorney for the state board that oversees the Superdome said the blackout did not appear to be related to the replacement in December of electrical equipment connecting the stadium to Entergy New Orleans, the company that supplies power to the stadium. To New Orleans' great relief, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the city did a "terrific" job hosting its first pro football championship in the post-Katrina era and added: "I fully expect that we will be back here for Super Bowls."
Fans watching from their living rooms weren't deterred, either. An estimated 108.4 million people saw the Baltimore Ravens beat the 49ers 34-31, making it the third most-viewed program in television history. Both the 2010 and 2011 games hit the 111 million mark.
The Superdome had a backup power system that was about to be used, but it wasn't needed because power started coming back at that time, Goodell said.
Casinos set record: Sports fans bet a record $98.9 million at Nevada casinos on the Super Bowl, the Nevada Gaming Control Board said. Unaudited tallies show 183 sports books made $7.2 million on the football action. "Northern Nevada gets swamped with 49er money," LVH book director Jay Kornegay said.
Chargers: Walt Sweeney, a standout offensive lineman for San Diego in the 1960s and 1970s, has died at 71. The team website says Sweeney died of pancreatic cancer Saturday. Sweeney played in either the AFL All-Star Game or the Pro Bowl nine straight seasons.
Lions: The team released second-year wide receiver Titus Young. He was banished from the team in November for what coach Jim Schwartz called unacceptable behavior and was later put on injured reserve.
Rams: An attorney for the agency that runs the Edward Jones Dome says it is unlikely it will implement the team's plan to upgrade the facility. Already, there is speculation about a new stadium.