Monday Night Football: Steelers-49ers delayed by stadium power outage
December 19, 2011 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
The kickoff of tonight’s Monday Night Football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers has been delayed due to a power outage at Candlestick Park. ESPN, which is due to broadcast the game on live television, is reporting that attendees have largely remained in their seats despite the darkness; it’s currently 5:30 PM pacific time on the west coast, past sunset at the outdoor stadium. The outage, and the stadium’s inability to fix the problem or offer sufficient backup power, comes at a time when the Forty-Niners are looking to move to a new stadium outside San Francisco city limits if necessary, potentially adding fuel to the notion that the facilities are too outdated for the team to continue playing there. However, ESPN has subsequently reported the the outage was due to a transformer explosion and wasn’t specific to the stadium itself.
If the game is able to be played tonight, it’ll have a major impact on both the AFC and NFC playoff chases. The Steelers are in a position to take sole possession of the AFC North if they win, after division rival Baltimore Ravens lost their game last night. The 49ers are also in the midst of a playoff chase. Super Bowl-winning Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to return to action tonight despite injury concerns, while longtime 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is in the midst of a career turnaround in his first year paired with new head coach Jim Harbaugh.
The power outage at Candlestick Park evoked flashbacks to the 1989 World Series, in which the stadium was rocked by an earthquake just head of game three. The San Francisco Giants baseball team, which played in Candlestick at the time, has since moved to newer facilities. In another historical note, Candlestick was the site of The Beatles’ final concert.