Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans will be played on February 3rd, allowing the NFL to keep its 12-team playoff format intact this season, the NFL announced today. Moving Super Bowl Sunday back one week was made possible when the NFL and the National Automobile Dealers Association reached an agreement today to swap weekends for their respective events in New Orleans. .
The NADA annual convention originally scheduled for February 2-5 in New Orleans now will be held January 26-29. The Super Bowl will move from Sunday, January 27 to Sunday, February 3.
The NFL will pay the NADA $7.5 million to cover additional expenses and losses resulting from the switch. The agreement also includes an NFL Charities grant that will match NADA contributions to the September 11th relief efforts up to $500,000. .
"We deeply appreciate the willingness of Phil Brady and America's new car dealers to work with us," NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said. "Thanks to their leadership, our fans and teams can look forward to a full complement of playoffs and to a great Super Bowl weekend in New Orleans. We trust that the NADA will enjoy a super convention as well." .
Commissioner Tagliabue also praised the efforts of New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, the Louisiana Congressional delegation, and the New Orleans authorities. .
"Tom Benson and the Louisiana leadership were instrumental in helping us reach our goals of keeping the playoffs intact and fulfilling our Super Bowl commitment to New Orleans," Commissioner Tagliabue said. .
The NFL regular season will conclude the weekend of January 5-7, which originally was scheduled as the first weekend of the playoffs. Following the events of September 11, the NFL postponed its Week 2 games and re-scheduled them for that first weekend in January. .
The playoffs now will begin January 12-13 with Wild Card Weekend. The AFC and NFC Divisional Playoffs will be January 19-20, the Conference Championship Games on January 27, and the Super Bowl on February 3.
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