- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Superdome won’t be part of New Orleans 300th birthday celebration in 2018.

NFL owners voted Tuesday to award the big game to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where a new $1 billion stadium is planned for the site of the old Metrodome.

“It’s hard to go up against a new stadium, but we’re proud of our presentation,” Mark Romig, president of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, said in an interview after the vote.

New Orleans has hosted 10 previous Super Bowls, the most recent in 2013. The city received praise from NFL officials for its hosting job, although the game was marred by a power outage at the Superdome that interrupted play for 34 minutes.

“The new stadium was absolutely the deciding factor,” Jay Cicero of the New Orleans bid committee said in Atlanta, Georgia. “Any time that there is so much public support for a $1 billion stadium, the NFL owners are impressed.”

Romig said the city’s 300th anniversary plans played a part in its pitch for the 2018 game. “Certainly the tricentennial was a piece of our bidding because it’s such an important time, not only for New Orleans but for the world. New Orleans is a strategic city not only for the United States but for the globe, and certainly that would have been part and parcel of what we were celebrating in inviting the world to come to New Orleans.”

Cicero and Romig both said the city would continue to bid for opportunities to host future Super Bowls and other major sports events.

A University of New Orleans study on the economic benefits the game brought to New Orleans in 2013 said it spurred $263 million in spending directly related to the game and an estimated $217 million in secondary spending.

Rod West, an executive with New Orleans-based power corporation Entergy and a member of the group that made the presentation, said there was no indication that the power outage was a factor in the owners’ decision.

“The subject of the Super Bowl power outage never came up in the bid process and was not an issue for the NFL,” West said in an emailed statement.

The cause of the outage was traced by an independent expert to a defective relay device installed for Entergy. NFL games and other major sporting and entertainment events have been staged in the building before and since without incident and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said after the 2013 game that he expected New Orleans to host future Super Bowls.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide