Fire, Power Outage, Manny Machado Highlight Monday at Dodger Stadium

August 02, 2018

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

It was an exciting Monday evening in and around Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles earlier this week, starting with a fire behind left field that took 64 firefighters more than half an hour to extinguish.  Fortunately, no major damage was reported, but the action could be seen from the stadium.

Photo credit: @alschaben

A short while later, the excitement continued, when power in the stadium went out suddenly during the second inning of the game between the game between the Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers.  The outage, which lasted a mere two seconds, was caused by a Mylar balloon making contact with electrical equipment.  It took more than 20 minutes for the high-intensity overhead lighting in the stadium to power up again and for the game to resume.

It’s not a unique situation, as two weeks of celebrations during the peak of graduation season saw 36 outages in the community caused by similar metallic balloons, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.  Those outages were responsible for close to half of the total customers impacted by outages between May 14-27. 

“When metallic balloons come in contact with power lines or other electrical equipment, it can melt electrical wires resulting in fires that could lead to injuries, property damage or an outage like the one that occurred last night,” said LADWP General Manager, David H. Wright.  “We have built our systems to ensure reliable power flow to major venues, but even a brief disruption in power flow can cause on-site systems to need to be reset.”

Dodger Stadium is equipped with a redundant 34,500-volt power supply feeding from two separate circuits, allowing power to be automatically rerouted if one fails.  Judging from the very short-lived outage, the system functioned as designed.

While redundant and backup power supplies help facilities remain operational during outages, they don’t provide protection from spikes and surges during outages that can result in significant and costly damage to equipment.  Power protection systems regulate line voltage and ensure sensitive technology doesn’t fail as a result of surges and, when coupled with backup power systems, ensure operational continuity for businesses.  Systems can be designed for businesses of all sizes, from large stadiums to small local businesses.

The hometown Dodgers lost the game 5-2, the team’s newly acquired third baseman Manny Machado provided some late-game fireworks when he launched a home run in his home debut for his new team.

Edited by Erik Linask