NFL Owners to Vote on 2018 Super Bowl, Discuss Playoffs

May 20 (Bloomberg) -- National Football League owners will decide today whether to hold the 2018 Super Bowl in New Orleans, Indianapolis or Minneapolis.

A plan to possibly add two teams to the playoffs won’t be voted on for the 2014 season, Brian McCarthy, an NFL spokesman, said.

The three cities will campaign for the NFL’s championship game during league meetings in Atlanta. New Orleans has been home to the Super Bowl 10 previous times, while Indianapolis and Minneapolis have each hosted it once.

A three-quarters majority vote of the NFL’s 32 owners is required for a city to win the bid.

“I kind of feel like we’re getting ready for a big game, because it’s kind of one of those win-lose situations,” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told reporters yesterday. “We’re excited, but we want to come away with a victory. Hopefully I can go up and talk to the other teams and try to be very convincing. That’s what I’m going to try to do.”

Irsay is making his first public appearance since being arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving and possession of controlled substances on March 16.

Irsay, who faces four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, has been undergoing treatment since the arrest as part of the NFL’s substance abuse program. He hasn’t been charged and the NFL hasn’t disciplined him.

While owners today also discussed the possibility of expanding the playoffs to 14 teams from 12, the proposal won’t happen for the upcoming season, the league said.

“We will continue to study it, but there won’t be a vote today,” McCarthy said in an interview.

Expanded Playoffs

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said yesterday that the addition of two more teams was a “matter of when not if” and wouldn’t “water down” the playoffs. It would help create more chances for teams to win the Super Bowl.

“The way our league is structured, batting .500 or a little over doesn’t in any way preclude them from being outstanding teams and being capable of winning the Super Bowl,” Jones told reporters. “I don’t think it does anything in any way to the quality of our season, but it does add more excitement for more people.”

Currently, 16 of 30 teams in the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association qualify for the playoffs. In Major League Baseball, 10 of 30 teams advance to the postseason.

Super Bowl

While possible playoff expansion will be discussed, the Super Bowl vote probably will be the primary focus of the meeting.

New Orleans last hosted the game in 2013, with a blackout at the Superdome delaying play for 38 minutes. The Louisiana city will celebrate its 300th year in 2018.

The Minnesota Vikings will include a new $1 billion indoor stadium as part of their bid.

Indianapolis, which will host college basketball’s Final Four in 2015, last hosted the Super Bowl in 2012 when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots.

Jones praised Indianapolis as a host city, calling the 2012 game a “tremendous success.”

“You couldn’t have asked for a better Super Bowl in my mind,” Jones said. “The city does a great job with its sports.”

Next year’s Super Bowl will be in Arizona, and the 50th Super Bowl will be at Levi’s Stadium, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers. The 2017 game is set for Houston.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net