0

Super Bowl site, longer season on NFL agenda

New Orleans could get back in the Super Bowl rotation this week.

NFL owners will award the 2013 Super Bowl to either New Orleans, Glendale, Ariz., or South Florida - where their spring meetings will take place in Fort Lauderdale.

And while nothing as definitive as selecting a Super Bowl site is expected, the owners could vote on a proposal to expand the regular season to 17 or 18 games, with a reduction in the preseason that would keep the overall total, minus playoffs, at 20 matches.

The Super Bowl has been staged in New Orleans nine times, tied with Miami for the most years hosting the big game. Miami will break that tie in February.

But bringing the Super Bowl back to the bayou for the first time since 2002 not only would be a boon to the Louisiana city, but would display the NFL's satisfaction with how New Orleans has recovered as a sports city from Hurricane Katrina.

'We know that it's not a given that it's going to be awarded to New Orleans and we really want to make the impression on them that we have a strong desire to host this again for a perfect 10th time,' said Jay Cicero, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation's president.

A few weeks ago, the state and the Saints announced a lease extension through 2025 that, if approved by the state legislature, will also include $85 million in upgrades to the Superdome.

A perfect season could require one or two more wins sometime in the near future if team owners approve a restructured schedule. Commissioner Roger Goodell has mentioned in the last few months the need to replace preseason games in which few star players get on the field with 'meaningful' football.

In late March, Goodell said he hoped a plan for restructuring the schedule could be presented to the owners in Fort Lauderdale. Regardless, there will be discussion of the matter.