Indianapolis, Minneapolis and New Orleans have been selected as finalists to host the 2018 Super Bowl. The three cities will make final presentations in May at the NFL owner’s meeting, where a winning city is expected to be announced. Dallas, Miami and Tampa had also put forth bids but did not make the round of finalists.
New Orleans, which hosted the game last season, is bidding to have the game coincide with the city’s 300th anniversary. Indianapolis is bidding for its second game after a successful run as host in 2012. And Minneapolis is hoping that its new downtown stadium, which is set to begin construction this year, will be open in time for the 2016 season. The city last hosted the Super Bowl in 1992.
The 2014 game will be played at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. That event will be followed by games in Glendale, Arizona (2015), San Francisco (2016) and Houston (2017).
In addition, the NFL has announced that it will add a third regular-season game at Wembley Stadium in London in 2014. It will be the first time the league has played three regular-season games overseas.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders will each host one of the games, which are considered home games for the teams. The dates and opponents will be announced later this season.
“Our fans in the UK have continued to demonstrate that they love football and want more,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Both of this year’s games in London sold out quickly. The fan enthusiasm for our sport continues to grow. By playing two games in the UK this year, we are creating more fans. We hope that with three games in London next year we will attract even more people to our game.”
The International Series of regular-season games has increased NFL fan interest in the UK, with a current fan base of more than 12 million, including 2.5 million avid fans, a 30 percent increase in avid fans in the past two years, according to the NFL.
The Minnesota Vikings’ 34-27 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in London on September 29 drew a crowd of 83,518 to Wembley. The day before, more than 520,000 people attended a football festival on London’s famed Regent Street, enjoying football-themed games and attractions, including visits from Vikings’ and Steelers’ players and coaches.