Last year, the NFL manufactured the awarding of the Super Bowl to be played in February 2014 into an event. The vote, conducted during ownership meetings held in May, gave Super Bowl XLVIII to New York/New Jersey.
This year, the vote on the next Super Bowl to be awarded won’t happen until October, according to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com. Though he points out that Tampa Bay will be one of the leading candidates for the game and the six days of events preceding it, there’s a much broader — and far more significant — point.
By October, the league will have a pretty clear idea as to whether Super Bowl XLVI will be played as scheduled in Indianapolis. If the labor dispute has ended, the game can be awarded to Tampa or some other city. If the lockout persists, the league would likely again defer the decision until the point at which it becomes clear that the 2012 Super Bowl will be lost. And then the 2015 game would be given to Indianapolis.
In the end, that’s surely why the move was made. With the 2013 game awarded to New Orleans and the 2014 game set to be played in New Jersey, the league can’t make it up to Indy until 2015, at the earliest.