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Partial blackout is linked to computer programming Ravens stadium lights not reset from 1 p.m. start


Human error is being blamed for Sunday night's partial blackout at Ravens stadium, when a bank of field lights went out for about 10 minutes and interrupted play.

A computer, which is programmed to turn the lights on and off at predetermined times, was not reset from the previous home game's 1 p.m. kickoff. Sunday's game started at 4: 15 p.m., and the computer began shutting down the lights when it thought the game was over, said Bruce Hoffman, executive director of the Maryland Stadium Authority.

Stadium workers reacted quickly to the error and stopped the computer from shutting off other lights, he said. But the high-powered bulbs need to cool for about 10 minutes before they can be relighted, which is why the lights stayed off for a few minutes.

For future games, the field lights will be taken off the computer system and manually turned on and off, he said.

The lighting troubles are reminiscent of Oriole Park's early history: There were two light failures in the first season, related vTC to supply problems from BG&E.; A third failure two years ago was caused by a wiring short.

Pub Date: 12/15/98

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