New Orleans could get back in the Super Bowl rotation this week.
NFL owners will award the 2013 Super Bowl to either New Orleans, Glendale, Ariz., or South Florida — where their spring meetings will take place in Fort Lauderdale.
And while nothing as definitive as selecting a Super Bowl site is expected, the owners could vote on a proposal to expand the regular season to 17 or 18 games, with a reduction in the preseason that would keep the overall total, minus playoffs, at 20 matches.
The Super Bowl has been staged in New Orleans nine times, tied with Miami for the most years hosting the big game.
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But bringing the Super Bowl back to the bayou for the first time since 2002 not only would be a boon to the Louisiana city, but would display the NFL’s satisfaction with how New Orleans has recovered as a sports city from Hurricane Katrina.
“We know that it’s not a given that it’s going to be awarded to New Orleans and we really want to make the impression on them that we have a strong desire to host this again for a perfect 10th time,” said Jay Cicero, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation’s president.
A few weeks ago, the state and the Saints announced a lease extension through 2025 that, if approved by the legislature, will include $85 million in upgrades to the Superdome in time for the 2013 game.
“In a lot of ways, we’re providing a new stadium with the advantages of the old stadium,” Saints vice president Ben Hales said.
Still, the competition will be stiff. The league has shown its willingness to return to South Florida by holding the 2006 and 2010 games there; no other area has had such frequent hosting duties since Miami in 1995 and 1999.
The Baltimore Ravens have signed unrestricted free agent Kelley Washington to a one-year contract to bolster their receiving corps. … The Arizona Cardinals have agreed to a contract with rookie free agent wide receiver Edward Gant. … Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson has taken an indefinite leave of absence while he continues treatment for a cancerous tumor on his spine. … The Minnesota Vikings signed free agent fullback Nehemiah Broughton. … Buffalo Bills defensive back Donte Whitner said he has videotaped evidence showing he did nothing wrong during an altercation with police outside a Cleveland nightclub. … The San Francisco 49ers have waived defensive back Jimmy Williams just four months after signing the former Virginia Tech star.