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burning Question
April 02, 2001
(Q) In light of California's electricity crisis, might the state's sporting events go dark?
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April 02, 2001

Burning Question

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(Q) In light of California's electricity crisis, might the state's sporting events go dark?

(A) There's no guarantee that crowded sports venues will be spared California's rolling blackouts, but it's unlikely one will lose power unexpectedly. "For public safety, large arenas are lower on the list [of places to be shut down], and efforts would be made to advise them if we felt blackouts might occur," says Marcie Edwards of Anaheim Public Utilities, which serves Arrowhead Pond, home of Mighty Ducks, and the Angels' Edison Field. Juice for the Staples Center and Dodger Stadium is supplied by L.A.'s Department of Water and Power, which has an ample supply and doesn't foresee blackouts. Northern California teams aren't so fortunate. The Warriors' and A's stadiums in Oakland shared a circuit with a facility that was exempt from rolling blackouts, but the exemption was expected to be lifted this week. The Kings' ARCO Arena in Sacramento and the Sharks' San Jose Arena have suffered temporary power shutdowns, though not during a game.

Big arenas have generators strong enough to keep concourse lights on. Since most blackouts occur during the day and last less than an hour, teams can wait things out, as they would a rain delay. The Giants are devising a long-term plan that would let them play through an outage. Says team spokeswoman Staci Slaughter, "We need to be prepared, because we're obviously going to get much busier."

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