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Atlanta Super Bowl bid set to move forward

The snowstorm that hit metro Atlanta this week likely will not derail any future bid to host a Super Bowl.

“We would deal with a (Super Bowl) bid from Atlanta at the appropriate time,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority approved unanimously Tuesday the transaction agreement with the Falcons for the construction of a new downtown football stadium. Falcons owner Arthur Blank expects to break ground on the $1.2 billion project in the spring.

The Falcons could be in the running for the Super Bowl in 2019 or 2020.

Atlanta hosted Super Bowls in 1994 and 2000, but failed in subsequent bids after an ice storm disrupted the 2000 event.

“Our city has successfully hosted numerous premier conventions, conferences, and many other major sporting and special events over the years,” a Falcons spokesman wrote in a text to the Atlanta Journal-Constiution. “Atlanta has proven itself as a destination for world class events and this unfortunate situation shouldn’t detract from that reality.”

During a meeting in Atlanta in 2012, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, when asked if Atlanta would improve its chances for a Super Bowl with a new facility, said only that it would allow the city to “compete against other markets” for the chance to play host to the event.

All 32 NFL owners vote on Super Bowl bids. The Falcons, the city and the state likely would be required, in light of the recent storm and the ice storm of 2000, to have a workable snow-and-ice removal plan for the metro area in case of bad weather.

There is a contingency plan in place to play this year’s Super Bowl on Monday in case a snowstorm hits the New York-New Jersey area.

The NFL in the past has awarded the Super Bowl to cities with new stadiums.

Arizona, Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas/Fort Worth and New York were awarded Super Bowls after building new stadiums. San Francisco is set to open a new stadium next season and has been awarded the 50th Super Bowl in February 2017.

“The bar has been raised because you’re getting great facilities around the country in great communities,” Goodell said during a reception held on a rooftop overlooking Centennial Olympic Park before a game in 2010. “These games are a tremendous value to the communities, so there’s a lot of competition for it. So I think a new stadium with this great community would be beneficial to bringing another Super Bowl to this community.”

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