NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Call it a sign. Atlanta being awarded Super Bowl LIII over New Orleans came down to one thing. Stadium. Atlanta's building a new one, set to open in 2017. Ironically it's also called Mercedes-Benz Stadium. New Orleans recently touched-up the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. But it turns out that a simple touch-up, no matter how much it cost or how shiny it makes it look, doesn't carry as much weight with NFL owners as first thought.
There's very little argument that New Orleans is one of, if not the best cities for the Super Bowl. It's why ten times previously, the NFL's championship game has been to the Crescent City, as recently as 2013. But, voting for the big game, these days, is less about the city and more about what's 'in' the city.
The NFL loves to reward cities that take care of their teams by way of a new stadium. Atlanta's new stadium all but guaranteed a Super Bowl would be headed their way in the very near future.
So that leaves us with this. When, if ever again, will the Saints host a Super Bowl? Will it take building a new stadium? A new Superdome? Is our cash-strapped state willing to pony up a ton of money to 'fund' the construction? With everything that's going on in Tom Benson's life right now, how much does he want to oversee the construction of a new stadium. How much is the owner willing to spend to get it done?
He, along with wife Gayle, made the pitch to NFL owners Tuesday. Part of his selling point was that New Orleans is everyone's first choice for Super Bowls. Turns out, that's not so anymore.
Of the teams to get future Super Bowls LIII and LV, Atlanta and Los Angeles, both have new stadiums coming. Miami got Super Bowl LIV with a re-furbished stadium. Unfortunately, because of scheduling conflicts, New Orleans couldn't bid on that one. So with no back-up plan, and for the second year in a row, it's back to the drawing board for New Orleans.
I'm sure the committees pitch was perfect. But, I'm guessing it sounded a lot like last years. So, eventually, it's gonna come up. The only thing that's gonna get a Super Bowl back in the Big Easy...a new stadium. Question is...how long will it take?