Just minutes before the kickoff of Monday Night Football between the San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers a transformer exploded outside Candlestick, knocking out power to the stadium,
The transformer explosion was shown on ESPN followed by the stadium going dark. The outage made many in the stands and watching on TV think of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake which hit during a nationally televised World Series game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A's.
It appeared Candlestick was the only portion of San Francisco impacted by the outage.
The players were in the locker room when the power went out.
The transformer was located by the area of the park that is used by large buses and RVs. It was a sizable explosion that happened at 5:19 p.m. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake hit at 5:09 p.m.
Most of the fans appeared to respond to the outage in a calm manner, according to reports from the stadium. There was no panic in the stadium.
Auxiliary power came on within a few minutes.
It was not immediately clear how long the game would be delayed. The players took to the field at 5:45 p.m. to the cheer of the crowd.
The announcers said when the lights when out, they also thought about an earthquake, but said there was no shaking.
They lost all contact to their television audience and had to explain to the national television audience what happened by phone.
Former 49er great Steve Young was one of the people on the field for ESPN. He said he was at Candlestick in October 1989 and said his first thought was to leave his sideline desk and run to the middle of the field.
ESPN's Chris Berman said he was also at Candlestick when the 1989 earthquake hit and said seeing the lights go out, even though he was sitting in the ESPN studios in Connecticut studios gave him an eerie feeling.
Candlestick was built in 1960 as a baseball stadium for the San Francisco Giants. The 49ers started playing there in 1972.
It is among the oldest stadiums in the country. The 49ers are scheduled to break ground on a new stadium in Santa Clara next year.