Could a Superdome-esque blackout happen at Williams-Brice? - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Could a Superdome-esque blackout happen at Williams-Brice?

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In the middle of Sunday night's Super Bowl, half of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans plunged into darkness. 

It took 34 (the Baltimore Ravens' final score, oddly enough) minutes for stadium officials to restore power to the event.

Back in Columbia, it's easy to wonder what would happen if the power went out at one of the big venues like Williams-Brice Stadium, Colonial Life Arena, or the Koger Center.

Steve Borders makes sure the lights stay on at the Koger Center and Williams-Brice.

"I'm in charge of everything," said Borders. "We typically have about 400 lights per show."

Borders says they had a blackout at the stadium a few years ago that inspired the installation of several backup generators. That keeps the public address and scoreboard working, so what happened in New Orleans?

"If I was a betting man, I'd imagine they were disconnecting something associated with the halftime show and the power arched and took out the whole stadium to go down," said Borders.

Well, halftime performer Beyonce Knowles was pretty powerful.

While Williams-Brice may command the crowd and sheer size, don't think shows there are easy. Borders has about 400 lights a show. That keeps his hands full, and in one case burned.

The result of Borders rewiring part of the Koger Center circuits after a recent show knocked out the lights.

Borders knows the unforgiving audience expects perfection, and he's happy to try to provide it.

"A lot of people don't leave with anything tangible but a ticket stub and a memory. So you want to make sure they leave with the most positive memory possible," said Borders.

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