INDIANAPOLIS - The lights went out for 35 minutes at the Super Bowl in New Orleans, leaving TV viewers wondering what happened and perhaps giving Indianapolis an advantage when it comes to hosting the game in 2018.
While the source of the disruption is still under investigation, the blackout bowl is a huge embarrassment for New Orleans and the NFL.
By comparison, last year's game in Indianapolis was glitch-free and a major success by league standards.
Shane Conner's Lebanon, Ind., company was working for the NFL during the game.
"In the end, do I think it's going to hurt the city's reputation? Absolutely, because it's going to get twisted like it shouldn't be, but it's one of those things that just happened," said Conner, who owns ATEC Electric.
But it happened at the nation's largest televised event. New Orleans is likely to bid against Indianapolis and several other cities for the Super Bowl in 2018, and the blackout could help Indianapolis' chances.
Jeff Graves of Westfield-based Vision Event Management said Indy's glowing reviews after Super Bowl 46 gives it the greatest advantage, but the blackout definitely didn't help New Orleans.
"That's a huge black eye any way you slice it," Graves said. "May be no one's fault, but it's a black eye."
For the record, the NFL's commissioner said those 34 dark minutes in New Orleans won't affect the city's chances of hosting another Super Bowl.
Besides keeping the lights on the entire time, the Indy Super Bowl outperformed the New Orleans game in other ways. The New Orleans NFL Experience drew only half as many visitors as the one in Indianapolis.
Plus, more than a million people visited Indy's Super Bowl Village, compared to 800,000 at the New Orleans version.