SBD/March 26, 2014/Events and Attractions

Saints' Benson Confident In '18 Super Bowl Bid, Thinks NFL Has Moved On From Power Outage

Benson thinks the city's nomination is a strong indication of its chances to host
Saints Owner Tom Benson yesterday said that the city of New Orleans has a "great chance to successfully bid" for the '18 Super Bowl at the NFL's spring meetings in May, according to Ramon Antonio Vargas of the Baton Rouge ADVOCATE. Some "might figure the other two finalists" to host the game -- Indianapolis and Minneapolis -- "have a leg up on New Orleans because they didn’t recently host an NFL title game where there was a power outage that caused a 35-minute delay in play." Benson thinks that New Orleans' nomination is a "strong indication the league has moved past the outage." Benson said that it was "crucial that fans at the Superdome didn’t act out during the confusion surrounding the outage." Benson: "There wasn’t any hollering and screaming; everybody just took it casually and ... went on (with) it. I think the fans took it ... as another excitement in the game. All the people around me, it just felt taped -- like, ‘What, you guys putting on another show?" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 3/26). In Minneapolis, Baird Helgeson reported a tax relief package "designed to lure the Super Bowl to Minneapolis is running up against the limits of bipartisan zeal for cutting taxes" at the state of Minnesota's legislature this year. Gov. Mark Dayton "met recently with legislative leaders from both parties to press his case, and cautioned against a partisan fight that could doom the state’s Super Bowl bid." Under consideration is roughly $10M in tax breaks "for gameday player salaries, NFL Super Bowl events and even tickets to the big game, which can reach $2,600 for the best seats." Dayton and legislative leaders "express at least a willingness to consider the tax breaks, but many rank-and-file members of the Legislature are far more apprehensive, particularly in an election year" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/23).
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