5/26 Lights on – update

Wednesday’s power outage at Wrigley Field was the third at the ballpark since lights were installed in 1988. The two other times both happened in 2003 and both were during Cubs-Brewers games. On May 6, 2003, a power outage in the Lakeview area knocked out the lights in the ninth inning for 15 minutes. On June 24 that year, the lights went out in the first inning of a Cubs-Brewers game.

The problem Wednesday was a neighborhood fire. The ballpark went dark at 8:25 p.m. CT in the fourth inning of the Cubs’ game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chicago pitcher Tom Gorzelanny threw a 3-1 pitch to Blake DeWitt which home plate umpire Wally Bell called a ball, and suddenly the lights went out.

An electrical fire occurred in the neighborhood in the 3800 block of North Racine, near Racine and Grace streets, that caused the Fire Department and Commonwealth Edison to enact an emergency shutdown to the power grid that included Wrigley Field.

During the shutdown, the Cubs transferred from their primary service to their secondary service for the ballpark. Because of the nature of the emergency shutdown, the transfer didn’t happen automatically, thus the loss of the lighting at Wrigley.

Once the lights went out, it took 18 minutes for them to cool down and re-ignite in order for play to be resumed. On Wednesday, the lights were out 18 minutes.

— Carrie Muskat

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