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Frank Supovitz, the NFL’s vice president for events, called the Saints “outstanding hosts.”

“We’ve been working on the Super Bowl together with the Saints the last three years. … The level of partnership has never wavered for a moment,” he said. “The NFL and Super Bowl have had a long and deep relationship with the city and with the team and one of the pleasures of my career has been working with the team on the reopening of the dome (after Katrina). We’ve been very, very close partners with the city and the team and I don’t expect that to change.”

Dennis Lauscha, who serves as the president of both the Saints and NBA’s Hornets _ which Benson bought last spring _ scoffed at the idea that any animosity lingered between the Saints and the league.

“What we’re absolutely concerned about is making sure we put on the best possible show and make a great bid on the next one. We want to put our best foot forward,” Lauscha said. “No question we wanted to be the first team to host and play on our own field in the same year. We had an unbelievable experience down in Miami when we won the Super Bowl and we kept on saying how great it would be if we could do that back in New Orleans for our fans, so there is a bit of disappointment in that, but look, we’re looking forward to next year and winning the Super Bowl in New York.”