NEW ORLEANS -- Even though the mayor of New Orleans was all but certain the Super Bowl would be played there Feb. 3, the NFL and an auto dealers group were still trying to resolve problems Tuesday with switching dates.
''This is not a done deal yet,'' said David Hyatt, spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association. ''We have logistical problems. We have some other problems.''
The Super Bowl had been scheduled for New Orleans on Jan. 27, but the NFL wants to delay the playoffs a week because of the week it took off after the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington. Its other alternatives are playing Feb. 3 in another city or condensing the playoff schedule to have teams play as many as three games in 10 days.
Mayor Marc Morial said earlier the switch was ''99 percent certain'' and repeated it Tuesday, but noted there were issues that needed a few more days to resolve.
Hyatt said a NADA committee sent a reworded copy of the latest NFL proposal back to the league for what he called ''technical clarifications.'' He would not elaborate.
NADA wants the NFL to cover its multimillion-dollar expenses and losses of shifting its convention.
Hyatt said four major hotels, including the Hilton, which would be their convention site, had not returned agreements guaranteeing NADA rooms on their new date. However, Hilton general manager Paul Buckley said: ''We have returned everything they requested.''
Ed McNeill, president of the New Orleans Tourist and Convention Bureau, said: ''The NADA has all the rooms it needs.''
However, officials were still scrambling to get rooms for the NFL, which was 3,000 shy of the number if needed for the championship game.
''Right now there's a lot of work going on, a lot of movement,'' McNeill said. ''We're getting close, hotels are working hard to move things around and free up rooms. We'll get there.''
Even if the dates are switched, other problems remain.
The NFL Experience, originally scheduled for the convention center the week of the Super Bowl, probably would not be able to get the space it needs if the game is moved. The Superdome would also have to cancel a monster truck show, and two minor league hockey games would have to be rescheduled.
The weekend is also the first weekend of Mardi Gras and fifteen parades are scheduled for the city and suburbs.
Morial said the NFL asked whether the city can provide adequate security for parades at the same time as the Super Bowl. Police chief Richard Pennington said the only concern would be two Sunday parades in New Orleans, and those can be rescheduled.
On Sunday, Tagliabue said Giants Stadium in New Jersey was under consideration for the title game as a way to help New York recover from the terrorist attacks. The NFL was also considering Los Angeles, Tampa and Miami.
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