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New Meadowlands CEO Mark Lamping

Opening Statement:

Earlier this evening at right about 6:00 (P.M) we had a transformer that blew at the New Jersey Sports Authority substation. We get our power in the building through the sports authority. When that happened, our systems worked as designed; we actually have two lines coming into the stadium. As the power shifted from one line to the second we had a power glitch that occurred, it switched back to the original first line and power was restored at about 6:15 (P.M). During the entire period we had about 5 seconds where there was no power, that's basically what happens when the power shifted from our one line coming in to the second. The system worked as designed, you never want to have power problems, it's not the first time that it's happened. The protocol within the stadium worked as designed; we can have the police or security speak to that. We had no security problems related to the power outage. Obviously we had what you would normally have at a Giants-Cowboy game, but we had no security incidents that were related to any of the power.

Q: Could you characterize the crowd's reaction?

A: Very well behaved, the information went out quickly to the crowd, the system worked as designed. I was on my way down to the command center at the first sign of that so I wasn't out in the seating bowl during what was happening but by the time I made my way down to the command center, which probably took about five minutes or so, everything was working as designed, all representatives of public safety and communication were all assembled. Decisions were being made and the system operated as it was designed to operate in that type of power failure.

Q: What are the procedures in terms of you and the officials in terms of getting play restored and getting things going again on the field?

A: Well the NFL is in charge of what happens on the field, it's not our responsibility. Our focus was 100% on the safety of the fans in the building and getting the power restored to the building and getting play resumed.

Q: Was there smoke or fire?

A: Not around the building.

Q: How long was the power completely out in the whole stadium?

A: About five or six seconds, that's it. That's what happens when there's a switch from one line to the other. The entire episode began at about 5:59 (P.M), we did our switch from one line to the second line coming into the building at 6:15 (P.M) so about 16 minutes later, and it was literally five or six seconds during the switch that the power went down, which is what happens. That's how the system is designed.

Q: Was there any point where you thought you might not finish the game?

A: We were thinking about what to deal with at the moment and our focus was first on the safety of the fans in the stadium and the power came back. The game was always in the hands of the NFL not the New Meadowlands Stadium.

Q: Were all the fans well behaved and did they follow the instructions that you guys had given?

A: We were very satisfied with the performance of our staff in and around the building. The fans were very patient, and as I said earlier, we had no security issues related to the power.

Q: How long did it take to get people out of the elevators and were there any other problems like that throughout the building?

A: I'd have to go back and get the exact time. We were focused more in terms of the overall and what was actually happening and really as we speak; as soon as we get everybody out of the building, the appropriate diagnostics will be done, we will determine exactly what happened in conjunction with our friends from the Sports Authority and PSE&G and if there are any adjustments that need to be made along the line, we'll make those so we can minimize the risk of this ever happening again.

Q: How far of a perimeter did the outage reach?

A: It was out on the west side of the building, I don't have an exact template of how far beyond that but that was part of the failure and the power did come back on and it was part of our normal security protocol to make some notifications along the way to the appropriate public safety entities and communities in the neighborhood in case something did happen more than what occurred but that protocol and action plan was put into place and fortunately we did not have to go to step two, but we did alert everyone and all of the neighboring communities were aware that we had a potential issue and they were offering their efforts to support us if necessary.

Q: What kind of thing would cause an interruption like this?

A: It could be any number of things and that's hopefully what our diagnostics will determine. The tests will try to find out exactly what created that. I'd just be speculating right now.

Q: Did you get more issues than a normal Giants-Cowboys game?

A: This was the pleasure of my first Giants-Cowboys game. It certainly will be a memorable one. It was an average incident level.

Q: What percentage of lighting was available when play resumed?

A: I think we had lost about 30%. I'll have to go back and see exactly what that number was but the call to resume play was a call made by the NFL.

Q: Was the transformer that blew inside of the stadium?

A: All of the problems that we incurred and resulted in issues we had here were genesis of outages from outside of the stadium.

Q: Was there ever the thought that there was some sort of sabotage? Stadiums could definitely be a target.

A: We're not going to speculate on anything of that nature. We'll do the diagnostic test, everyone involved will do the appropriate testing, and we'll find out what it was and remedy it before Sunday.

Q: During construction was there any indication that you could have a power outage?

A: No. This isn't the first early evening game and we've had plenty of night games already this year and haven't had any power related issues, so like I said the testing will start tonight as soon as we get people out of the building. We'll determine what the cause was and initiate any remedies necessary to make sure it doesn't happen again.

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