New Orleans could be in line for 2013 Super Bowl

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

It looks like New Orleans, which last hosted the Super Bowl in 2002, will have a strong shot at landing the game in 2013.

Saints owner Tom Benson told Mike Triplett on Monday that he's very optimistic a long-term lease agreement for the Louisiana Superdome can be worked out in the near future.

The plan is for New Orleans officials to submit a bid for the 2013 game before the April 1 deadline, Benson said. That bid could be contingent on a long-term deal being worked out before owners meet again in May and award the 2013 game.

If a lease agreement can be worked out, New Orleans almost instantly jumps to the front of the line to host the game. Uncertainty about the lease agreement and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina have kept New Orleans from being a contender for Super Bowls in recent times.

But the league views New Orleans as one of the best Super Bowl venues and there is strong sentiment in the league office and among owners to bring it back. From what Benson said, it sounds like the Saints and Louisiana officials are intent on making that happen.