49ers.jpgThe San Francisco 49ers tonight are hosting their first Monday Night Football game at Candlestick Park since embarrassing power outages last December delayed the nationally televised game.

Today’s 5:30 p.m. game matches up the 49ers with the Chicago Bears, two of the top teams in the National Football Conference.

Team and city officials are hoping tonight’s game goes more smoothly than the 49ers’ Monday Night Football game last season on Dec. 19, 2011, when the stadium went dark twice before and during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in what Mayor Ed Lee called a “national embarrassment.”

PG&E admitted fault for the first outage, which occurred shortly before game time and was caused when a splice, which connects two overhead wires, failed and the power line fell to the ground on Ingerson Avenue near the stadium.

The city admitted fault for the second outage, which happened during the second quarter of the game and was caused by a malfunctioning switch on the backup power inside the stadium.

Crews made repairs and the 49ers have hosted night games since then that have gone off without a hitch, including last season’s NFC Championship game in January and two Sunday Night Football games this season.

Coming into today’s game, the 49ers have a 6-2-1 record on the season while the Bears have a 7-2 record.

Both teams will be without their starting quarterbacks, Alex Smith and Jay Cutler, who each suffered concussions last week. However, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who was briefly hospitalized last Thursday with an irregular heartbeat, is expected to be on the sidelines for the game.

The game will be televised nationally on ESPN as well as locally on CBS5.

Fans attending today’s game will receive red rally towels and will receive coupons for two free Jack in the Box tacos if the 49ers win.

The 49ers are also joining with Second Harvest Food Bank to hold a holiday food and fund drive. Fans can drop off non-perishable food items at all gates throughout the stadium.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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