On Sunday, November 14, 2010, a brief blackout occurred during the third quarter of the National Football League (“NFL”) game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. The blackout left 81,000 spectators in complete darkness after an initial dimming of the lights caused the officials to halt play.
The New Meadowlands Stadium (the “Stadium”) is a $1.6 billion building which first opened in the Spring of 2010. The Stadium receives power from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which is served by Public Service Electric & Gas Company (“PSE&G”). Chief Operating Officer of the Stadium, Mark Lamping, reported on November 15th that the transformer, located 1,600 feet from the Stadium, blew at 5:59 pm. Initially, about 30 percent of the lighting in the west end of the stadium went out, and play was halted. After play resumed, the stadium power went out completely.
When the transformer blew, power rerouted from one line to another, which apparently resulted in the subsequent blackout. Lamping stated that “the emergency preparedness and protocol worked exactly the way it was supposed to work.” A spokeswoman for PSEG said its systems “did not experience any problems that would have interrupted power delivery to the stadium.”
Luckily, players and coaches were unharmed in the blackout, though Giants defensive tackles Barry Cofield said “I just ran for the bench just to sit down and put my helmet on because you never know what’s going on in that situation. But it seemed like everything went wrong today.” The Giants went on to lose to the Cowboys 33-20.