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Volume 24 No. 157

Events and Attractions

Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President & CEO Jay Cicero yesterday confirmed that the city intends to "to bid for the 2018 Super Bowl next year," according to Terrance Harris of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. But the "catch is the NFL has to invite the city to bid in order to officially put in a bid next October." Cicero said, "Assuming we get invited to bid for Super Bowl 2018 we will work with the Saints. We will put together a bid and hopefully bring our 11th Super Bowl to New Orleans." Harris writes New Orleans and South Florida "made some sense for the 50th anniversary of the NFL's showcase event because the two would have combined to host 20 Super Bowls (10 each), which exceeds any other cities." Super Bowl LII "lines up much better for New Orleans but there are ultimately variables out of the city's control." Saints Owner Tom Benson and his staff "can lobby the NFL to receive the invite to bid but there are no guarantees." Super Bowl XLVII in February "also needs to go off without a hitch" (, 10/17).

EXPERIENCE MATTERS: In Houston, John McClain wrote the success of Super Bowl XXXVIII in '04 "could help land" the city Super Bowl LI in '17. Texans President Jamey Rootes said, "Any time you do something for the first time, it’s a lot easier the second time and the third time, and so we've got a very experienced crew. The same folks who have been involved from the beginning when we hosted in 2004 will be around the table. ... We know a lot more about what the ownership is looking for and how those decisions are made. It’s a very interesting process, and I think we've got a good handle on how we can go about setting ourselves up to win." He added, "The more times you come to the table -- and now we’re in a position where we’re being asked to come to the table -- eventually something good will happen for you." McClain wrote the roof at Reliant Stadium "could give the Texans an advantage over the competition" (, 10/17).

WELCOME TO MIAMI: In regards to South Florida's bid to host Super Bowl L, Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said NFL Senior VP/Events Frank Supovitz and the Super Bowl Advisory Committee "were clear that renovations were not a condition precedent to South Florida’s invitation to bid." Dee: "We have to assemble the best possible bid package, and I’m sure the Host Committee will be focused on a number of factors, including Sun Life Stadium, the communities that participate in the bid, and where the core of Super Bowl activities will take place. ... We've got to do everything we can to put the best venue on the table. How exactly will that factor into the bid? I don’t know" (, 10/17).

ACC Commissioner John Swofford yesterday said that "for at least the next 'eight or 10' years,' the basic format as far as location" of the conference's basketball tournament "likely will not change," according to Alex Prewitt of the WASHINGTON POST. Swofford at the ACC's fall meetings said that "'lengthy discussions' -- but no final decisions -- took place that included evaluating the number of venues and cities that have put in proposals to host the tournament." Swofford said there has been a "great deal of interest" from prospective venues. Sources said that DC's Verizon Center "is among the venues to file a request for proposal to host the tournament." Prewitt notes of the 23 ACC basketball tournaments played since '90, 18 have been "staged in either Greensboro, N.C., or Charlotte." The next three will be held in Greensboro, and the tournament will "continue to feature all ACC teams, even with the conference expansion" (, 10/17). Swofford said that the reason the ACC and Madison Square Garden "didn't get a deal was that MSG wanted a regular tenant every March and the ACC wasn't willing to commit to a set location." Swofford said that he was "open to taking the tournament to Brooklyn at the Barclays Center" (, 10/17).

GARDEN PARTY: Big East Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco yesterday announced that the conference has "signed a 10-year contract extension with Madison Square Garden, ensuring that it's most visible event will stay in the home it's enjoyed for the last 30 years." Aresco said, "To have this tournament here, long into the future, at the Garden is huge. I think it makes a real statement about our conference. About what our conference is, about what it's going to be. That's where we belong." In Newark, Brendan Prunty notes the deal "cements the Garden as the league's postseason home for men's basketball until 2025-26." The agreement is "critical to the Big East, which has seen its ranks pilfered by the Atlantic Coast Conference since the beginning of last September." Aresco "called it 'among the first' tasks he wanted to accomplish when he took over the commissioner's chair on Sept. 1." While Swofford last month said that MSG was "out of the equation" for a potential ACC tournament site, the Big East "couldn't take the chance of letting its last basketball-based property be snatched away." Aresco: "We weren't thinking about any other conference, we just were thinking about the Big East. And what would be good for the Big East and what would be good for the Garden" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 10/18).

Retired tennis player Andy Roddick is “one of six players scheduled to compete in the inaugural Miami Tennis Cup,” according to Michelle Kaufman of the MIAMI HERALD. The event will be “an exhibition tournament Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center," which hosts the ATP/WTA Sony Open. Andy Murray “will also participate, as will Spaniards Juan Carlos Ferrero and Nicolas Almagro, top-ranked American John Isner and Colombian Alejandro Falla.” The tournament format is “double-elimination and round-robin,” with each match best-of-three sets, and all matches will “take place on the stadium court, which will be transformed from purple and green to the first-ever white court with red lines and a blue surrounding area.” The “idea for the red, white and blue court is to commemorate the American flag.” The event is “being put on by Group NOS, an Argentine sports and entertainment promoter” (MIAMI HERALD, 10/17).