One of the most notorious public venue lighting failures occurred at the 2013 Super Bowl. A partial power outage in the New Orleans Superdome literally turned off the lights during the nighttime game, stopping play for 34 minutes. Fans were confused, the network broadcast was disrupted, and social media buzzed with conjecture. It was discovered several days later that a newly installed relay had tripped, resulting in the power outage, during which only emergency lighting functioned.
The incident created the potential for significant negative consequences. There could have been unrest or even violence between fans in the stands. Attendees, staff, vendors or team members could have been injured due to the dark conditions. Any of these incidents could have created huge potential legal liabilities for the City and the Stadium Commission.