ATLANTA (CBSNewYork/AP) — NFL owners tabled any vote expanding the playoffs to 14 teams at their spring meetings Tuesday.
There is strong sentiment among the owners to add a wild-card team in each conference to the postseason, most likely beginning in 2015. Such a setup would eliminate one of the first-round byes, with only the team with the best record in each conference getting a week off at the beginning of the playoffs.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said it will be discussed again in October.
“I do believe it will be approved for the 2015 season,” he said.
New York Giants owner John Mara, who is against adding more playoff teams, said the topic probably will come up for more discussion in October.
“I don’t think it’s a sure thing at all,” Mara said of going to 14 playoff teams. “It’s probably more likely than not, but nothing is set in stone. There was no straw poll taken. … I think it’s good the way we have it.”
The players’ union says it needs to be consulted on an expanded postseason, and Mara said that would happen at some point if the owners decide to expand the playoff field.
AS FOR THE DRAFT …
A committee examining the time, length and site of the draft reported to the owners. Commissioner Goodell has said the league is considering several options:
—keeping the draft in May; it drew record TV ratings this year after it was moved back two weeks from its usual late April slot.
—adding a fourth day.
—moving it to a variety of NFL cities, with a dozen already having expressed interest; the draft has been in New York for decades.
“If I was king of the world, I’d put it right back where it was,” Mara said, referring to the April dates.
In other matters, new director of football operations Troy Vincent hired three advisers, including Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary. Vincent, a former All-Pro defensive back, also hired former NFL player and coach Jimmy Raye and former player and general manager Mike Reinfeldt.
Among other chores, the three new hires will serve as liaisons to league coaches and front-office personnel.
“These men bring sound wisdom, football experience and insight that helps us support our clubs and coaches, as well as grow and develop our players and game,” Vincent said.
SUPER BOWL LII GOES TO MINNESOTA
Build it and the Super Bowl will come.
That message rang loud and clear Tuesday when Minneapolis was awarded the 2018 game after a vote by owners rewarded the city for its new stadium deal.
The owners chose Minneapolis and the $1 billion stadium planned for the site of the old Metrodome to host the championship over New Orleans and Indianapolis.
“In large part, it was due to recognition of the great work they’ve done on the stadium,” Goodell noted.
“It’s been 10 years and we’ve always been driving to build a stadium,” Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said. “We can rejoice right now for being rewarded this, but the hard work comes now.”
New Orleans bid committee members were certain the new Minneapolis stadium, set to open in 2016, swung the vote. The stadium will hold up to 72,000 for the Super Bowl.
“The new stadium was absolutely the deciding factor,” Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President Jay Cicero said. “Any time that there is so much public support for a $1 billion stadium, the NFL owners are impressed.
“We did everything we were supposed to do, had a fantastic presentation. In the end we think the stadium did it.”
The big game will be staged in the Twin Cities for the second time. It was there in 1992, when Washington beat Buffalo.
It will be there in 2018 because the Vikings lobbied for years to replace the aging Metrodome, one of the NFL’s least profitable facilities.
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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)