Candlestick Outages Are a "National Embarrassment" - NBC Bay Area

Candlestick Outages Are a "National Embarrassment"

The outages sparked new debate on getting the team the heck out of San Francisco.



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    A transformer explosion knocked the lights out at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

    The Monday Night Football game between the 49ers and the Steelers was the talk of the Bay Area today. San Francisco crushed Pittsburgh with a 20-3 win.

    But the debate was not over the play on the field and instead focused on the power failures that forced two game delays.

    San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee called the outages "a national embarrassment."

    The start of MNF at Candlestick Park was delayed by 30 minutes when a downed wired caused an explosion just outside the stadium. The lights went out a second time around 6:45 p.m. causing a second delay of game that lasted 16 minutes in the second quarter.

    Lights out at Candlestick during Monday Night Football

    [BAY] Lights out at Candlestick during Monday Night Football
    Monday Night football was delayed twice at the Stick by power outages.
    (Published Monday, Dec. 19, 2011)

    Even though ESPN aerial footage (freeze frame below) showed the explosion in the parking lot where RV and buses park, PG&E claimed Tuesday they did not have an exact cause for the outages.

    This is the 3 p.m. press release from PG&E which included that it considered the investigation very productive:

    PG&E’s initial investigation has found that the first outage was caused when a splice, which connects two overhead electrical wires failed, and the wire fell to the ground near the stadium. Although the stadium has a backup feed and that system switched on immediately, the metal halide stadium lights took several minutes to cycle back on.

    "I have been in contact with San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White to discuss the latest on the investigation," Geisha Williams, executive vice president of electric operations at PG&E said. "Additionally, technical experts, including engineering teams from PG&E and the City and County, are meeting today to trace the causes of last night’s outages and to identify solutions that will prevent recurrence."

    Power Outage at the Stick Electrifies Santa Clara

    [BAY] Power Outage at the Stick Electrifies Santa Clara
    Teams potential hometown says a power outage would never happen in Santa Clara.
    (Published Monday, Dec. 19, 2011)

     PG&E tweeted during the outage that the power problem only impacted "one customer." It didn't mention that "customer" included some 70,000 people.

    During the nationally televised game, ESPN commentators echoed Mayor Lee's thoughts saying on several occasions that the outages were an embarrassment to the city of San Francisco.

     Candlestick Park is one of the oldest stadiums in the league. It was built in 1960 for the San Francisco Giants. The 49ers began playing there in 1972.

    The team is close to breaking ground on a new stadium in Santa Clara. City leaders there were quick to jump on the outage as a reason to move the team south. Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews said because his city does not rely on PG&E for power and instead uses its own power company Silicon Valley Power, power outages would not be an issue. He said even in the height of the rolling black outs in the 1990s, people who live or work in Santa Clara never lost power.