NFL awards Minneapolis Super Bowl for 2018
Vikings will host Super Bowl LII, beating out bids from New Orleans and Indianapolis.
The Associated Press
ATLANTA — Build it and the Super Bowl will come.
That message rang loud and clear Tuesday when Minneapolis was awarded the 2018 game after a vote by owners rewarded the city for its new stadium deal.
The owners chose Minneapolis and the $1 billion stadium planned for the site of the old Metrodome to host the championship over New Orleans and Indianapolis.
“In large part, it was due to recognition of the great work they’ve done on the stadium,” Commissioner Roger Goodell noted.
“It’s been 10 years and we’ve always been driving to build a stadium,” Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said. “We can rejoice right now for being rewarded this, but the hard work comes now.”
New Orleans bid committee members were certain the new Minneapolis stadium, set to open in 2016, swung the vote. The stadium will hold up to 72,000 for the Super Bowl.
“The new stadium was absolutely the deciding factor,” Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President Jay Cicero said. “Any time that there is so much public support for a $1 billion stadium, the NFL owners are impressed.
“We did everything we were supposed to do, had a fantastic presentation. In the end we think the stadium did it.”
Also, NFL owners tabled any vote expanding the playoffs to 14 teams.
There is strong sentiment among the owners to add a wild-card team in each conference to the postseason, most likely beginning in 2015. Such a setup would eliminate one of the first-round byes, with only the team with the best record in each conference getting a week off at the beginning of the playoffs.
New York Giants owner John Mara, who is against adding more playoff teams, said the topic probably will come up for more discussion in October.
“I don’t think it’s a sure thing at all,” Mara said of going to 14 playoff teams. “It’s probably more likely than not, but nothing is set in stone. There was no straw poll taken. ... I think it’s good the way we have it.”
• A committee examining the time, length and site of the draft reported to the owners. The NFL will consider whether to keep it in May. It drew record TV ratings this year after it was moved back two weeks from its usual late April slot. It also will look into adding a fourth day and moving it from its traditional spot in New York to a variety of NFL cities, with a dozen already having expressed interest.
• Baltimore running back Ray Rice has been accepted into a diversionary program that could allow him to clear his record of charges that he knocked his then-fiancee unconscious in a New Jersey casino, but he could still face discipline from the NFL.
• Minnesota signed first-round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings traded with the Seahawks to get Bridgewater, a quarterback from Louisville, with the last pick of the first round. Under the NFL’s salary slotting system, Bridgewater will get just under $7 million over four years.