Expanding the NFL season to 17 games will force some changes beyond just the length of the regular season. Like where the Super Bowl in 2024 is held.
Back in May of 2018, New Orleans was selected to host Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 4, 2024. It was a big deal for New Orleans, hailed as a great host for all major sporting events, to get the game again. The last time the Super Bowl was held in New Orleans was February of 2013.
In May of 2018, the NFL had a 16-game schedule. Then this year, a new collective-bargaining agreement was struck and a 17-game regular season was part of it.
Suddenly, New Orleans had a potential problem for that 2024 Super Bowl.
Mardi Gras would conflict with Super Bowl
The only thing bigger than the Super Bowl in New Orleans is Mardi Gras in New Orleans. If the Super Bowl is pushed back a week to Feb. 11, it would happen on the final weekend of the Mardi Gras celebration. Mardi Gras in 2024 is Feb. 13. That won’t work.
The two sides had discussed the 17-game season possibility during the bid process. The league and New Orleans have been in contact about possible options for Super Bowl LVIII.
WGNO in New Orleans laid out two potential solutions: Eliminate the bye week between the conference championship games and Super Bowl to keep the game on Feb. 4, or award New Orleans a future Super Bowl when it fit the city’s calendar.
Mardi Gras in 2025 won’t be held until March 4, which could be an option. The Super Bowl location for that year has not been determined.
NFL will need to decide on Super Bowl LVIII
The NFL has a lot on its plate amid the coronavirus outbreak, so a Super Bowl in nearly four years is not going to take priority. Yet, it is important for the league to make a decision soon.
Planning a Super Bowl takes years, which is a reason the 2024 Super Bowl was awarded in May of 2018. Eliminating the bye week between the conference title games and Super Bowl probably isn’t ideal for the NFL — that would bring in the possibility of a team that has to play wild-card weekend having the Super Bowl be its 21st game in 22 weeks — so perhaps New Orleans’ Super Bowl gets pushed back. That would open up the possibility for another city, such as Las Vegas, bidding for that game in 2024.
The 17-game schedule wasn’t popular with the players, and it probably isn’t popular in New Orleans either.
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