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City & PG&E Complete Stadium Electrical Improvements, Thorough Testing to Ensure Candlestick Park Ready for 49ers-Saints Playoff Game This Saturday

Release Date: January 11, 2012
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

San Francisco, CA—The City of San Francisco and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) successfully completed the last of several tests conducted over the past month to prevent another interruption of power when Candlestick Park Stadium hosts the National Football League's NFC Playoff Game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints this Saturday.

"With electrical improvements inside and outside the stadium in place and thorough testing completed, I'm confident that the City and PG&E have taken every possible step to ensure reliable power for the playoff game this weekend," said Mayor Lee. "I want to thank the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Fire Department, Recreation and Park Department staff and PG&E staff who worked through the holidays to prepare for game day this Saturday. I think the only 'lights out' at Candlestick this Saturday will be our 49ers shutting down the New Orleans Saints!"

Following the December 19, 2011 outage, Mayor Lee immediately tasked SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White to lead an investigation and work with Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg to make sure the City took every step to make improvements to prevent another loss of power at the Stadium should the primary loss of power occur again.

San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission, Fire Department, Recreation and Park Department and PG&E conducted three comprehensive power tests of the electrical systems that serve the Candlestick Park Stadium to test the stadium's automatic responses that ensure continuous service. The tests mimicked the events of the December 19, 2011 outages and were coordinated with the California Public Utilities Commission. All tests resulted in successful power load transfers and demonstrated reliable power system operations.

City agencies evaluated the systems' operations after upgrades by PG&E on the overhead lines that serve the Stadium, and upgrades on the City's backup generator and transfer switch systems inside the Stadium. The City upgraded software for the computer control system with the facility and upgraded the transfer switch which enables the facility to transfer between the two power sources serving the stadium as well as the back-up generator. In addition, City staff tested all backup safety lighting.

"I want to thank the City and County, and all of its employees who worked so collaboratively with our team to ensure reliability for Saturday's game," said PG&E Corporation Chairman, CEO and President Tony Earley. "We are confident that the steps taken by the City and County and PG&E will allow all NFL fans to enjoy the game. We are optimistic this is the first of two playoff games to be played at Candlestick Park this month."

Since the outage, PG&E has inspected all of its equipment serving Candlestick Park with infrared technology and conducted targeted upgrade projects, including stringing new electric wire from Candlestick Park to PG&E's Martin Substation on the border of San Francisco and Daly City.

After the December outage, all appropriate agencies launched an investigation of the cause and conducted comprehensive testing of electrical systems serving the Stadium.

Candlestick Park Stadium's lighting system was originally configured for both baseball and football, so during football games the lights are configured in a manner optimal for football. This results in not all of the lights being utilized. As a result, game attendees may see sections of lights that are not lit. This is an indication of the preferred lighting setting for football and not any electrical issues.

The playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints at Candlestick Park Stadium kicks off on Saturday, January 14 at 1:30 p.m. PST.

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