JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The company that operates sports venues in Jacksonville is answering questions about why the lights went out during the Super Bowl. SMG manages EverBank Field and is also in charge of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Local sports commentator David Lamm had one thing on his mind when that power outage kept the Superdome in the dark for more than 35 minutes.
"I'm thinking good grief,” said Lamm. “Boy the media would have had a field day with this, ‘you go to Jacksonville and they don't even have electricity,” said Lamm.
Jacksonville escaped the Super Bowl with no stadium blackouts when it hosted the big game in 2005. But Action News has learned, the same company facing the fallout in New Orleans also oversees EverBank Field.
SMG has managed our football stadium for two decades. It also operates five other major venues in Jacksonville.
Action News Ryan Smith went to its main office downtown to find out what procedures are in place to keep major power outages from happening at our stadium. No one agreed to go on camera, but a spokesperson stated, “SMG has rigorous reviews and testing protocols in place to ensure that all of the city-owned facilities that it manages are fully operational. In addition, we have extensive procedures and back-up responses in place that allow for a rapid response in the event that an act of nature or other circumstances challenge systems or interrupt normal operations."
SMG’s top executives say they are investigating what exactly caused the Super Bowl's electrical snafu.
Lamm predicts this will force other stadium management companies to review their own procedures in the aftermath of an unexpected power loss.
According to Twitter, online chatter about Sunday night’s power outage spiked during that 35-minute dark session at more than 231,000 tweets per minute.