NFL’s 17-game schedule might force New Orleans to give up 2024 Super Bowl

first_imgMost cities would do anything to host a Super Bowl, but it turns out there’s one thing New Orleans won’t give up, no matter what, to have the honor: Mardi Gras.The city has been chosen to host the 2024 game, but that arrangement has come into question with the recent ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement, which includes a 17-game regular season beginning as soon as 2021. The final game of the NFL season is normally played on the first Sunday in February, which in 2024 will be Feb. 4. The additional week in the regular-season schedule might mean that the 2024 game is pushed back to Feb. 11. The problem? That’s the final weekend of the Mardi Gras celebration, with the official holiday taking place Tuesday, Feb. 13.Saints vice president of communications Greg Bensel released a statement Friday saying that the team talked with the NFL about the possibility of a 17-game season during the Super Bowl bidding process and discussed options that included still hosting the Super Bowl in 2024 or hosting another Super Bowl in the future when there is no conflict with Mardi Gras.NFL MOCK DRAFT: Iyer’s two-round edition There are a handful of possible solutions if the NFL really wants New Orleans to host in 2024. One of the simplest is for the league to move the start of the regular season up a week, to Labor Day weekend. It could also eliminate the bye week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, which would keep the game on the first Sunday in February and avoid Mardi Gras celebrations.If the league isn’t dead set on having New Orleans host in 2024, however, then it could have the city host in 2025, when Fat Tuesday falls on March 4 (assuming the NFL doesn’t move to a 20-week schedule by then). That would mean the NFL would need to find a new host city for the 2024 Super Bowl.Which scenario seems more likely? Frankly speaking, whichever one involves the least amount of work and doesn’t cost the NFL any money. That would mean New Orleans might have to wait another year, because the NFL loves having that extra week before the Super Bowl to dominate the sports talk show conversation and build anticipation, and it has been reluctant to compete with the start of the college football season the first weekend of September.last_img

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