Officials Were Worried About Superdome Power
New Orleans — Concerned the Superdome might not be able to handle the energy needed for its first Super Bowl since Hurricane Katrina, officials spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on upgrades to decayed utility lines, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The improvements apparently weren’t enough, however, to prevent an embarrassing and puzzling 34-minute power outage during the third quarter of the game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Two days later, officials still had not pinpointed the cause of the outage. The Superdome’s management company, SMG, and the utility that supplies the stadium, Entergy New Orleans, announced yesterday that they would hire outside experts to investigate.
“We wanted to leave no stone unturned,” Entergy spokesman Chanel Lagarde told the AP. He said the two companies had not been able to reach a conclusion on the cause and wanted a third-party analysis.
SMG Vice President Doug Thornton told a news conference at City Hall later yesterday that the hiring of a third party does not signify a disagreement between SMG and Entergy.
“It’s important for us to have total transparency and we have agreed among ourselves that we will exchange records,” Thornton said. “We were metering the power. They were doing the same on their side. We need to figure out what the root cause of this is and fix it.”
Documents obtained Monday through a records request by The Associated Press show that Superdome officials worried months ago about losing power during the NFL championship.
Tests on the electrical feeders that connect incoming power from utility lines to the stadium showed decay and “a chance of failure,” state officials warned in a memo dated Oct. 15. The documents, obtained by the AP through a records request, also show that Entergy expressed concern about the reliability of the service before the Super Bowl.
The memo said Entergy and the Superdome’s engineering staff “had concerns regarding the reliability of the Dome service from Entergy’s connection point to the Dome.”
The memo was prepared for the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District, the state body responsible for the Superdome.
Giants Cut LB
East Rutherford, n.j. — After finishing next to last in the league, the New York Giants began a defensive facelift by releasing veteran linebacker Michael Boley.
A key part of the Giants’ Super Bowl championship team a year ago, the 30-year-old Boley appeared in all 16 games last year with 11 starts but was hampered by hamstring, hip and shoulder injuries at various times. He finished on third the team with 84 tackles and had three interceptions, one in each of the first three games.
Vina Del Mar, Chile — Rafael Nadal won his first match after being away for more than seven months because of a knee injury.
The former No. 1-ranked Nadal partnered with Juan Monaco to defeat the Czech pair of Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy 6-3,6-2 yesterday in the VTR clay-court tournament in this Pacific coastal resort city.
Nadal, whose left knee inflammation lingered despite on-going therapy, has not played since June 28 when he was upset in the second round of Wimbledon by qualifier Lukas Rosol.
In Clinic’s Records
New York — Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun said he used the person who ran the Florida clinic under investigation by Major League Baseball only as a consultant on his drug suspension appeal last year.
“I have nothing to hide,” Braun said in a statement released by his representatives to The Associated Press lastnight.
Earlier in the day, Yahoo Sports reported the 2011 NL MVP’s name showed up three times in records of the Biogenesis of America LLC clinic. Yahoo said no specific performance-enhancing drugs were listed next to his name.
The Miami New Times recently released clinic documents that purportedly linked Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera and other players to purchases of banned drugs from the now-closed anti-aging center.
Braun said his name was in the Biogenesis records because of an issue over payment to Anthony Bosch, who ran the clinic near Miami.
“There was a dispute over compensation for Bosch’s work, which is why my lawyer and I are listed under ‘moneys owed’ and not on any other list,” Braun said.
“I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch,” he said. “I will fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter.”
Yesterday, MLB officials asked the Miami New Times for the records the alternative newspaper obtained for its story.
Sox Hire Coach
Boston — The Red Sox appointed Dana Levangie their bullpen coach.
Levangie, a major-league advance scout for Boston the past seven seasons, replaces Gary Tuck, who retired last week after six years as bullpen coach.
Levangie, 43, also will help with advance scouting. He has spent all 22 of his pro seasons in the Boston organization after being drafted in the 14th round in June 1991.
He was a catcher for six seasons in the Red Sox minor-league system.
, then served as their bullpen catcher from 1997 through 2004 before becoming a pro scout in 2005.