The Dallas Stars and Dallas Mavericks have postponed upcoming games at the American Airlines Center due to the extremely cold temperatures and an ongoing lack of power in North Texas.
The Stars made a very late, game-time decision Monday night to pull the plug on the first of two home games against the Nashville Predators at the request of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, according to the NHL.
On Tuesday morning, the NHL announced they were postponing Tuesday's game as well, again after conversations with Johnson.
Early Tuesday afternoon, the NBA said the Mavs-Pistons game scheduled for Wednesday was also being postponed due to the "governmental shutdown of American Airlines Center because of severe weather conditions."
Stars team president and CEO Brad Albert first confirmed to the Dallas Morning News' Stars' beat reporter Matthew DeFranks that Monday's game was postponed due to power outages across North Texas.
Earlier Monday, the American Airlines Center said it would decrease power consumption so that Stars and Dallas Mavericks games could go ahead as planned this week while also answering calls for energy conservation.
Officials with the arena said they were "implementing measures to decrease power consumption to the minimum needed to host Dallas Stars and Dallas Mavericks games" and that those measures included "turning off exterior lighting, digital message boards, limiting concession operations and eliminating other amenities inside the building."
However, ahead of the Stars' home game Monday night, calls for the team or the NHL to postpone the game began to circulate widely on social media.
When asked about the game Monday afternoon, the Stars initially said their game wasn't being postponed at this time and that it was going to be played as planned.
NBC 5 asked officials at the arena Monday how much power the reductions were expected to save compared to a normal night, or how much would be saved if the game were postponed, but we've not yet received an answer to those questions.
The decision by the Stars came amid calls for conservation after millions of Texans were forced to live without heat and electricity or venture onto dangerous roads to find warmth elsewhere as plunging temperatures struggled to climb out of the single digits Monday.
DeFranks later added the American Airlines Center was on the "critical infrastructure grid," which also houses the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and local hospitals.
ERCOT, which oversees the state's electric grid, said an estimated two million customers statewide were without power and that power may not return until sometime Tuesday. While Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted Monday afternoon that utility service had been returned to about 25% of those affected, some providers have warned the outages could last for several days.
Winter Weather Recovery
After several days of sub-freezing temperatures, some melting is expected Friday and Saturday.
Before Monday's game was canceled, Johnson tweeted that Downtown Dallas, Inc. was asking downtown buildings to turn off their external lights Monday night to help conserve energy. Dallas City Councilman Adam Bazaldua added that calls for conservation weren't only directed toward residents.
"While we all have a part to play in conservation of energy to prevent grid overwhelming, I want to be clear that the task is not one exclusive to residents only. I am urging all non-essential businesses to also do their part as we work through the electricity shortage situation with our energy providers. If you do not have to physically open your business and can work remotely, please do so. Additionally, please consider turning off any lights or electronics that are not needed for your businesses to survive, ie. decorative signage and/or buildings in the skyline with any decorative light features," Bazaldua said. "The City of Dallas has worked with the Omni Hotel to ensure we are not asking anything that we are not willing to do ourselves. The Omni lights will remain off through Friday to include the Pegasus and tree lights on their property."
Officials with the AAC added Monday, before the cancellations, "we will continue to monitor our power usage this week and decrease usage in all possible areas."
NBC 5 reached out to the City of Arlington on Monday to find out what was being done to curb power use at Globe Life Field and AT&T Stadium and the city said they asked both venues to reduce their consumption and they said they were doing so. The city did not elaborate on what steps those venues were taking to conserve power.