METAIRIE, La. -- The 2024 Super Bowl, which is scheduled to be played in New Orleans, might have to be moved to another location because of a calendar conflict if the NFL switches to a 17-game season.
If the Super Bowl gets pushed back a week to Feb. 11 that year as expected, then it will run into Mardi Gras. So the NFL, the New Orleans Saints and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation have been working on contingency plans.
The most likely scenario is moving the New Orleans Super Bowl to a later year, though they have not yet ruled out trying to play the game on Feb. 4 that year.
NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy and Saints spokesperson Greg Bensel both said via statements that this possibility was discussed during the bidding process in 2018 when New Orleans was awarded the Super Bowl for the 11th time.
"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," Bensel said.
"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."
The Super Bowl is scheduled to be played in Tampa, Los Angeles and Glendale, Arizona, over the next three years. None of those cities has any known conflicts if the calendar needs to be changed.
No Super Bowl sites have been awarded yet beyond 2024.
New Orleans, which last hosted the Super Bowl in 2013, was also supposed to host the NCAA Women's Final Four this weekend. But the event was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The city hosted the college football national championship game in January, and it is scheduled to host the NCAA Men's Final Four in 2022.