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Competition to host the 2012 Super Bowl suddenly has become a lot tougher. Last week, officials for the city of New Orleans and New Orleans Saints said they are set to bid for the big game, thrusting the hurricane-battered city into the center of a competition that Indianapolis seemed to be leading. New Orleans has hosted nine Super Bowls, more than any other city, and some say they are a sentimental favorite to land No. 10.
Saints Executive Vice President Rita Benson LeBlanc told Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal that Saints officials informed NFL owners last month that they intend to bid for the 2012 Super Bowl. Indianapolis, Phoenix and Houston also have announced they will bid.
After Indianapolis narrowly lost out on the 2011 Super Bowl bid to Dallas, league insiders said Indy was odds-on favorite to win the 2012 bid. However, Marc Ganis, president of Chicago-based Sportscorp Ltd. and a consultant to several National Football League teams, said New Orleans’ entry into the fray changes everything. New Orleans will need to rally support from the public and corporate sector for their bid to gain steam, Ganis said. The Saints also will have to secure an extension of their lease at the Superdome, which is set to expire after the 2010 season.
The deadline to submit a 2012 Super Bowl bid is April 1. NFL owners are expected to chose a host city at their May meeting in Georgia.
Do you think Indianapolis’ bid can overcome its latest challenge?