SBJ/October 10-16, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Super Bowl site on NFL agenda

NFL owners meet in Houston today and Tuesday where they are expected to name a site for the 2015 Super Bowl and perhaps add to the number of international games.

The meeting is the first since the owners approved a new collective-bargaining agreement in July. The meeting starts with committee gatherings today, and the full ownership is only expected to meet for the day on Tuesday.

The owners may vote to expand the number of international games in London from one to two next year, or even more. Commissioner Roger Goodell is championing the idea and last month voiced support to have more annual games in London. The NFL has been playing one game annually in London since 2007, but the owner authorization to do so expires after the Oct. 23 game between Chicago and Tampa Bay.

The competition to host the 2015 Super Bowl is between Glendale, Ariz., and Tampa, Fla. Glendale last hosted the game in 2008, and Tampa the following year. February’s Super Bowl is hosted by Indianapolis, followed by New Orleans and then New York.

Traditionally the NFL awards Super Bowls at its May meeting, but the 2015 game process was delayed because of the lockout.

The owners could set a date for the 2014 game in New York. The game would culminate the first season that the NFL could potentially expand the number of regular-season games. The players are opposed to schedule expansion, and the CBA requires their consent. However, for contingency planning purposes, the league needs to set a date, and have a plan to squeeze more weeks into the season in the event the schedule does grow. That’s expected to occur by starting the season one week earlier and eliminating the second week between championship games and the Super Bowl.

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