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Despite loss of power, show goes on for 51s

Thousands of fans marveled at a spectacular light show in the sky Sunday night at Cashman Field.

Then the fireworks started.

Shortly after the 15-minute pyrotechnics display ended, power was finally restored to the ballpark on a strange, stormy night in Las Vegas.

The Pacific Coast League game between the 51s and Colorado Springs Sky Sox was postponed due to a power failure for the first time in the franchise’s 29-year history.

The start of the game, scheduled for
7:05 p.m., initially was delayed due to rain and lightning.

But at 7:12 p.m., the power went out, literally leaving the crowd in the dark as to the status of the game and postgame fireworks display.

The vast majority of the estimated 8,000 fans stayed in their seats or stood on the concourses and let out “oohs” and “aahs” as they watched large swaths of lightning flash across the sky.

Around 8:30 p.m., the game officially was postponed, with fans receiving rain checks to a future 51s home game this season.

The fireworks show started at 8:45 p.m. Shortly after it ended around 9 p.m. — when most of the 5,000 or so fans who waited around for the show had left the park — power was finally restored.

“You can’t fight Mother Nature,” 51s general manager Chuck Johnson said. “We heard from Nevada Energy that the substation nearby went down. Once we got word from them that they couldn’t give us a timetable, and that was 8:30 (p.m.), then we figured that we had to move on.

“We still had a great crowd out there and we figured if we could cancel the game early enough, we could still do the fireworks show and send people home with the reason why they came out: fireworks and baseball.

“We think people are still going to walk away having a great time.”

Danielle Solarzano certainly did. After enjoying a hot dog and beer inside the park — where the concession stands remained open during the 90-minute delay — she watched the fireworks just outside the entrance with her son, daughter, brother, mother and father.

They all agreed the wait was worth it.

“Absolutely,” she said. “All I wanted was hot dogs, beers and fireworks. So I was good.”

But not everybody left the park satisfied. Fred Garcia was upset that no announcements were made during the delay.

“They couldn’t because of the power, but at least send someone through the aisles to talk to us,” he said. “There was no organization. Fireworks are nice, but tell us something.”

There have only been a handful of games postponed in 29 years at Cashman Field and only two rainouts since 2000, the last one in August 2008.

The game will be made up by the 51s and Sky Sox during their series in Colorado Springs, which is scheduled July 18 to 21.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354.

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