SBD/December 21, 2011/Facilities

S.F. Continues To Look At Technical Difficulties Behind Candlestick Park Blackouts

49ers' Mercurio said team is putting together safeguards in case of recurrence
S.F. officials, state regulators and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. reps yesterday "still could not pinpoint the causes of two power outages at city-owned Candlestick Park" during the Steelers-49ers "MNF" game, according to a front-page piece by Gordon & Kane of the S.F. CHRONICLE. S.F. Mayor Ed Lee called the blackouts "a national embarrassment," though 49ers reps yesterday "refrained from public finger-pointing." 49ers VP/Stadium Operations & Security Jim Mercurio "voiced concern over 'the kind of uncertainty that this situation produced' and wants to make sure safeguards will be put in place to prevent a recurrence." The NFL "referred questions about the incident to the 49ers." Mercurio said, "They are asking the same questions we are asking. What happened? How did it happen? What are you doing to make sure it doesn't happen again?" The power problems "came at a particularly vulnerable time for the city, as it continues to hold out hope that the 49ers will abandon plans to relocate to Santa Clara and decide to build a new stadium in San Francisco instead" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/21). In S.F., Matier & Ross note while city officials "continue the search for the technical culprits, there is one thing they agree on" --  49ers President & CEO Jed York will "never again have to explain to fans why he wants to leave San Francisco" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/21).

ULTERIOR MOTIVES? Steelers S Ryan Clark after Monday's game indicated that the power outage "might have all been staged by the 49ers to get them a new stadium." He said, “I just feel like San Francisco took a big stage to show the NFL and to show the state of California that they needed a new stadium. I think it was a very strategic move and Candlestick may be no more very soon" (, 12/19). ESPN's Jim Rome said, "No one likes a conspiracy theory more than I do, but the Niners did not need a staffer to blow that transformer to remind everybody that they play in a dump. Trust me, everybody knows they should have boarded up that tenement a long time ago” (“Jim Rome is Burning,” ESPN, 12/20). San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy said, “The city of San Francisco has been neglectful in the way they maintained it. I don't think it was a conspiracy last night to make Candlestick look bad” (“Chronicle Live,” Comcast SportsNet BayArea, 12/20).
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