New Orleans is named a finalist to host Super Bowl LII - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

New Orleans is named a finalist to host Super Bowl LII

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NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans scores again in its push to host Super Bowl LII, but the game's not over yet. Two other cities, Minneapolis and Indianapolis, also made the cut Tuesday.

In seven short months, NFL owners will decide who will host Super Bowl LII. Between now and then, there's plenty of work to be done.

"It's our job, along with the New Orleans Saints, to head up this bid effort, pull everybody together to put together a competitive financial offer to the NFL," said Jay Cicero, president of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.

If New Orleans is selected to host the game in 2018, it would make for a record 11th time that the biggest football game of the year took place here. Cicero said in the bid next spring, the city will highlight the amazing experience given to attendees at this year's game in February, while also highlighting another exciting time that will coincide with Super Bowl LII.

"It's our tri-centennial in New Orleans, and what better time to host a Super Bowl than the 300th anniversary of our great city," Cicero said.

Of course, any time a major sporting event comes to New Orleans, it brings lots of money. The game in February exceeded many expectations, and those in the business community hope to see it repeated again if the city secures Super Bowl LII.

"If you look back at the last Super Bowl, we had projected about $250 million in economic impact," said Greg Rusovich, Chair of GNO, Inc. "Instead it was $434 million, so a tremendous economic impact opportunity as well as $26 million in tax for local and state government."

New Orleans is the only warm-weather city among the three finalists, but the competition is stiff. NFL.com calls Minneapolis the favorite as that city is set to build a $975 million stadium slated to open in 2016. Indianapolis is dubbed the long shot having done "a fine job" hosting the Super Bowl in 2012.

And New Orleans, according to the website, is the underdog, after having experienced a blackout during this year's game. But just after the game, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell downplayed the incident's overall impact on the Super Bowl experience, giving hope that we could once again become a host city.

"I don't think it will affect future Super Bowls," Goodell said. "I know we will be back here for future Super Bowls."

Tom Benson made the pitch for the city to become a finalist to an NFL owners sub-committee Monday, and then he had to make another presentation Tuesday. A spokesman for the Saints says securing Super Bowls for New Orleans has been a hallmark of Benson's tenure as owner.

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