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New Meadowlands Stadium blames faulty transformer for outage

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The chief executive of the New Meadowlands Stadium blamed New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority equipment for the two power outages that occurred during the New York Giants game with the Dallas Cowboys.

Mark Lamping, the chief executive of the new $1.6 billion stadium that serves as the home for the Giants and Jets, said one of the sports authority's transformers malfunctioned, causing the first outage. A subsequent failure threw the stadium into total darkness for about five or six seconds.

"All these issues are outside the building," Lamping said in a radio interview with WFAN in New York City on Monday. "They weren't inside the building. Now, just like anyone who owns a home, if there is a power failure, you have to deal with it."

Lamping said that when the power the sports authority provides to the stadium was lost, the stadium's emergency generator activated.

"You never want to have these types of situations," Lamping said. "You never want to go through it again. We had to play with the cards dealt to us. The fans were well behaved and there were no security issues."

Sports authority spokesman John Samerjan said engineers from the NJSEA and the stadium were investigating the cause of the outages.

"They are confident they can determine the cause and prevent this from happening again," Samerjam said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

The sports authority receives its power from Public Service Electric & Gas.

Utility spokeswoman Bonnie Sheppard said PSE&G had no problem providing power on Sunday and that the outages were internal to the customer.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the power outages were handled well.

"The Giants have kept us informed and we look forward to learning more as the team and stadium conducts its review," Aiello said in an e-mail to the AP.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said referee Bill Leavy and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett wanted to continue the game after the outages early in the third quarter.

"I was the stickler, saying slow down a little," Coughlin said, noting he asked Eli Manning if he wanted to continue and the quarterback said yes.

However, Coughlin said it could have been dangerous if the stadium went dark when a play was being run.

"You can think back to your days as a young man out in the yard playing football after dark and guys used to run into the trees and the fences and all that stuff, but that could have happened," Coughlin said.

Veteran Deon Grant said safety was one of the first concerns players talked about on the bench after the second outage.

"That could have been a situation where someone could have been hurt pretty bad," Grant said. "Thank God that didn't happen and they fixed the lights."

Defensive end Justin Tuck had other thoughts when it went dark.

"You start worrying about is your family all right," he said.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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