Flyers, Lightning play through partial power outage

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Thursday, February 29, 2024

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning were playing at the Wells Fargo Center partially in the dark on Tuesday.

With the Flyers leading 1-0 and 13:43 remaining in the first period, a section of the building lost power and the game was stopped.

The emergency lighting remained on, as did the lighting in about 75% of the building. After a nine-minute delay, the teams were instructed to resume play in lower lighting than usual. The end of the rink where Tampa Bay was shooting was a bit darker than the rest of the rink. Most of the East end of the building had no power, including the concourses, suites and the balcony level where executives from both teams, the broadcast booths and the press box is located.

"During the first period we had a transformer on the event level go," said Phil Laws, president of the Wells Fargo Center. "It blew up. Burnt up. I don't know why. I don't know if it came from external stuff or inside the building."

Laws said it was fortunate that the transformer did not catch fire and no one was injured. Electrical crews removed the transformer from the system, allowing electricians to start to repower the building during the first intermission and into the second period.

The sports lighting returned in time for the start of the second period, and crews worked to restore the scoreboard, the game clock, and the audio and public address systems, which were also out. Audio returned about halfway through the second period.

Laws added that the chiller plant that chills the ice was not affected, however two of the three chillers used under the ice were. He also added that the HVAC system was down.

"We have three chillers and like to run two at a time," Laws said. "Right now we're running on one. We do believe it will get us through the night. I wouldn't want to do this though in June during the Stanley Cup Finals when we get there."

Bobby Brink, recalled from the minors earlier Tuesday, scored 2:22 into the first period for Philadelphia.

Tampa Bay's Nicholas Paul scored the first goal after the sports lighting came back on at 4:35 of the second period to tie the score 1-1.