|Owners to decide: Indianapolis, Texas or Arizona for 2011|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 21 May 2007 20:45|
``It's a lot different,'' Dungy said. ``This is not like speaking to your team the night before the game. This will be fun. It'll be exciting.''
Indianapolis pulled out the star power to help present the city's bid to host the 2011 Super Bowl, with Dungy backed by Tony George, the chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and an executive vice president of the NCAA.
The big names were needed with North Texas tapping Roger Staubach, the Hall of Fame quarterback with two Super Bowl rings with the Cowboys, to talk to owners. Glendale, Ariz., was the other finalist.
Choosing the site of the 2011 Super Bowl was the biggest decision expected Tuesday from NFL owners at their spring meeting. They started Monday afternoon with some committee meetings and the three finalists practicing their 15-minute pitch.
Other topics of discussion included trimming selection times for the first two rounds of the draft, but nothing is expected to be finalized here.
Arizona is hosting the Super Bowl on Feb. 3 in the Cardinals' new stadium. Tampa hosts in 2009, followed by a return to South Florida in 2010.
Both Indianapolis and Texas have new stadiums to entice owners in their bids. Arizona was bidding to host for a third time after Tempe hosted in 1996.
Indianapolis was touting the city's history of hosting Final Fours and the Indianapolis 500, the domed stadium that opens before the 2008 season, and cash - with at least $20 million already committed. Colts owner Jim Irsay said they also would make 120 of 140 suites available for league use.
A little Indianapolis history - losing out to Minneapolis for the 1992 Super Bowl - also could be mentioned.
``You have to be a good partner over the years, and I think that's the biggest part about what I think will get us over the hump is it is our time and we have waited our turn,'' Irsay said.
North Texas counters with a $1 billion stadium opening in 2009 seating as many as 100,000 for special events. Staubach was flying in Monday night and was scheduled to make the presentation, tapping into Texas' long football history and tradition.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Monday night he planned to lobby his fellow owners late into the night.
``This ownership group, they can be a tough bunch. I don't know that I've been before them before on this basis, so this is real interesting for me as well. The great thing is that I can get before them and carry the flag for North Texas and the great part of the country we live in,'' Jones said.
Talk about trimming the draft started a few days after the NFL set a record by taking 6 hours, 8 minutes for the first round on April 28, with 15 minutes for each pick in the first round and 10 in the second.
Members of the competition committee held conference calls on the issue, and commissioner Roger Goodell will be talking with owners about options.
Titans coach Jeff Fisher, co-chairman of the rules committee, favors trimming the first two rounds.
``I think we could arrive at a good number of minutes, whether it be 10 for the first round or seven for the second. I think it would work. I would be willing to give it a shot,'' Fisher said.
``Teams just typically use all their time, and I don't think it would affect your ability to execute trades, not only picks, but also players. That's the thing that's being examined right now.''