CHARLOTTE, NC (WVUE) - NFL owners awarded the 2019 Super Bowl to Atlanta. New Orleans finished second in the voting.
All potential cities wanting to host the NFL championship game in 2019, 2020 and 2021 made their final pitches to NFL owners at the league's Spring Meeting on Tuesday.
New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation CEO Mark Romig and SMG Executive Vice President Doug Thornton presented for the Saints. Afterwards Benson's wife, Gayle, spoke on behalf of her husband.
As for Tom Benson, it's pretty clear where he thinks the Super Bowl belongs.
"New Orleans is the only place to have the 2019 Super Bowl. You can't believe the number of people after the Super Bowl was there (in 2013) came up to me and said, 'We have to have the Super Bowl here every year, not just every now and again, every year," the Saints owner said.
Super Bowl LIII would have been the city's record 11th Super Bowl. Other cities in the running included Miami, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles.
New Orleans is not eligible for the 2020 Super Bowl because it is hosting the College Football Championship game on Jan. 13 of that year. The Saints also would have received a $5 million bonus from their contract with the state.
Atlanta last hosted Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000 when the St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans 23-16. In 1994, the city also hosted Super Bowl XXVIII when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills 30-13. New Orleans last hosted in 2013 when the Ravens beat the 49ers 34-31.
The owners met in Charlotte, NC where the "bathroom bill" has cast a shadow over businesses lately. Many musicians, including Bruce Springsteen and Maroon 5, canceled concerts after the state's legislature passed a bill requiring transgender citizens to use the bathroom of the gender they were born to.
As a result, the NBA is evaluating whether to hold their 2017 All-Star game in Charlotte.