CLEVELAND - One local arena says it's prepared to handle a power outage similar to the one that happened at Super Bowl XLVII Sunday night.
“We have an emergency generator that comes on that powers about 30 percent of the lighting in the building,” said Greg Pohlman, production manager at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center.
Pohlman added that the generator starts immediately when power is lost and within seconds, some of the arena’s 160 1,000 watt HID lights turn on.
“It’s enough light to see by,” he said.
If the situation is serious enough, the center also has a plan in place, which is rehearsed by the staff annually, to evacuate attendees.
“Be observant of where the exits are. You may have to go the nearest exit and not necessarily the exit you came in,” said Pohlman, who knows first-hand what it’s like to lose power during an event.
“It’s happened to me before,” he said. Two years ago, Pohlman accidentally programmed the arena’s lights to go off during a basketball game.
“It would have made me uncomfortable,” said Oscar Walker, an East Cleveland resident who added that he was happy to watch the game from the comfort of his own home where he had power and no crowds around him.
“I’d feel a little nervous. At first, I thought they got hacked,” said Wadsworth resident Rich Krol.
The NFL and New Orleans officials are still investigating Sunday’s power outage, but the league’s commissioner already told reporters Monday that Beyonce’s halftime performance was not the source of the problem.
“It could be something very, very simple that could cause a lot of things to go off,” said Pohlman, who operates the center’s lights from a desktop computer in a back room.
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