Aztec game blackout due to operator error - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Aztec game blackout due to operator error

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San Diego State players look on as fans hold lights from their cellphones during a stadium lighting delay in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Stanford Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in San Diego. San Diego State players look on as fans hold lights from their cellphones during a stadium lighting delay in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Stanford Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in San Diego.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A sudden and bizarrely timed blackout near the end of San Diego State's nationally televised football victory over Stanford University on Saturday was the result of operator error, city officials said Monday.

The vast majority of the lights around the upper rim of San Diego Stadium that illuminate the field went dark with 3:58 left in the fourth quarter and the Aztecs in the midst of a game-winning drive.

The outage lasted 22 minutes and caught the attention of national sports media and fans, who quickly spread the story -- and inevitable memes and quips -- via social media.

Players on both teams rested and tried to keep warm while the lights were powered back up -- a process that requires some time to work.

"Stadium staff had been testing the electronics Saturday morning," city spokesman Arian Collins told City News Service in response to an inquiry.

"After the testing, the lights should have been switched into manual mode," Collins said. "However, they were put into auto mode instead which has a nine-hour cycle."

He said the lights automatically shut off when the nine-hour period was over, which happened to be while the football contest was still underway.

After play resumed, SDSU pulled out the victory with an eight-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Christian Chapman to tight end David Wells with 54 seconds remaining. Cornerback Kameron Kelly sealed the win with an interception on Stanford's next play.

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