Why did the John Smith’s Stadium blackout last week?

The managing director of the consultancy firm responsible for Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium has released a statement addressing the partial black-out during the Giants’ play-off loss to Catalan Dragons on Friday.

KSDL’s Gareth Davies said: “The disruption caused to supporters of the Giants on Friday night is extremely regrettable. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to all those affected and provide an explanation of what happened.

“At 6.50pm we suffered a power loss in the Revell Ward stand. This affected the Revell Ward stand and the two flood lights adjoining it. Also the roadway lights outside the stadium, which are serviced by the electrical transformer in question. No other part of the stadium was effected at any point. Our stadium management team quickly and calmly assessed the situation.

“We were then involved in a prompt and constructive dialogue pitch side with the match officials and officials of both teams. The match officials subsequently decided that the match could proceed with only two flood lights operational. However, they also had an appraisal from us that there was a good chance that all power would be restored within a short period of time, if as suspected, the issue wasn’t as significant as it might be.

“We have an extremely experienced stadium management team. Operations Manager Phil Armitage is a Mechanical Engineer. His assistant Phil Luff, is a mechanical and electrical engineer. Their prompt initial investigation highlighted the need to call out an electrical specialist and this call was made within a very few minutes. He was on site well before 8pm and the fault was assessed as being that which we had suspected. A fuse carrier in the main Revell Ward Stand electrical transformer had become loose. This was quickly corrected and full power was restored at 8.21pm.

“A joint decision had already been made before kick-off, to move all spectators to the Britannia Rescue Stand, purely for health and safety reasons. The concern being that depending on how long the fault took to correct, the emergency lighting in the Revell Ward Stand would eventually have gone out as well. This would of course have been potentially very dangerous, had the fault not been quickly corrected. Turnstiles were only kept closed for a short period, whilst the above plan was being agreed. During this time, additional stewards were deployed outside the turnstiles to convey information to supporters.

“Caterers Sodexo responded swiftly and stock from the Revell Ward Stand kiosks was transferred to the Britannia Rescue stand. Most hospitality guests were actually fed, as food had been cooked before power was lost. After the game, the Revell Ward suite operated normally.

“It is already clear that the transformer in question has a fully up to date service record. It was last serviced on 11/8/14 and that service included the part in question. We have genuinely been very unlucky.

“Of course disruption to supporters is greatly regretted. However, I am very proud of the calm and professional way in which my team responded and that at all times, supporter safety way our primary concern. We will now conduct a more detailed review, to see what learnings can be made and what further actions might be appropriate. This will include working closely, as always, with the Board of the Giants.”