The National Football League’s plans to expand to a 17-game regular season has caused a potential scheduling clash for Super Bowl LVIII in New Orleans in 2024.
The NFL showpiece is scheduled to be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the Louisiana city on February 4, 2024. But, if the season is pushed back one week due to the addition of an extra regular-season game, the Super Bowl would be played on February 11, which would directly clash with that year’s Mardi Gras parade.
As part of the recently-agreed Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFL is poised to implement a 17-game regular season from as soon as the 2021 season.
The NFL, New Orleans Saints and Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation are currently working out a way for the Super Bowl to stay in the city that year. Should those efforts fail, the Super Bowl would be awarded to another city and return to New Orleans at a later date. No Super Bowl sites have been awarded yet beyond 2024.
The NFL said in a statement: “As part of the bid process in 2018, we contemplated the possibility of a 17-game schedule as part of a new CBA. We are exploring options with the Saints and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation for the city to remain the host of the Super Bowl in 2024 or in a future year that would be suitable for both New Orleans and the NFL.”
The New Orleans Host Committee said: “The New Orleans Host Committee, led by the New Orleans Saints and Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, has remained in close communication with league officials about the change to a 17-game regular season, as it relates to the city hosting Super Bowl LVIII in 2024. During the bid process in 2018, it was contemplated and discussed of the possibility of an extended schedule based on a new CBA.
“The Bid Committee, the New Orleans Saints and NFL worked together to build in contingencies if a potential conflict with Mardi Gras should affect the Super Bowl date. Mutually agreed upon terms during the bid process granted assurances that the NFL and Host Committee would explore all options for still hosting the game in 2024, or, agreeing to host the Super Bowl in a future year when the citywide calendar permits.”
NFL team owners recently voted to approve the expansion of the league’s playoffs from 12 to 14 teams for the 2020 season. NBC and CBS will each broadcast one of the additional games.