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Thursday, April 30, 2009
New Orleans back in Super Bowl loop

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

We've known for months that this probably was coming, but the Saints and the state of Louisiana officially announced an extension of their lease agreement for the Superdome.

Great news for the state, the team, the city and the entire region because the Saints are a huge deal to most of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and they belong in New Orleans. There are a couple of interesting twists to the deal, including Saints owner Tom Benson purchasing some local real estate and you can read the details here.

But the part of this deal I'd like to comment on is that this puts New Orleans back into contention for Super Bowls. The city hasn't hosted a Super Bowl since 2002 and that's too long to go without a Super Bowl in the league's best venue.

Owners around the league are well aware of that and they've been anxious for a long-term deal to get done. The next Super Bowl available is 2013 and I've got a hunch New Orleans just jumped to the front of the line to host that game.

NFL owners are expected to announce a host for that game when they meet in Fort Lauderdale in three weeks.