NFL Fall Meetings to begin Thursday

Updated: October 28, 2003, 6:43 PM ET

CHICAGO - The NFL Fall Meetings begin Wednesday, but Arizona may have already sealed the vote for the 2008 Super Bowl.

The Arizona Cardinals were lauded by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and NFL owners for hosting the Monday Night game between the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers on short notice after wildfires in the San Diego area forced the league to seek another venue.

"We needed to do this," Cardinals vice president Mike Bidwill said of the decision to play the Monday game at Sun Devil Stadium. "Hopefully, it will be a positive thing in terms of the Super Bowl bid."

It certainly can't hurt the bid for Arizona, which last hosted Super Bowl XXX in January 1997. Something else that can't hurt is that the Cardinals are scheduled to open a $355 million stadium in suburban Glendale, Arizona in 2006.

The owners will vote on the 2008 Super Bowl site on Thursday.

Arizona, New Jersey and Washington were being considered, but the New York Giants withdrew their bid for Giants Stadium two weeks ago.

For more than three decades, the NFL's premier event has been held in warm-weather cities or domed stadiums.

The 2004 Super Bowl is in Houston, followed by Jacksonville in 2005, the new domed stadium in Detroit in 2006 and Miami in 2007.

Discussions on expanding the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams may also continue at the meetings, which will conclude on Thursday.

The NFL realigned to eight four-team divisions in 2002 with the division winners and two wild cards in each conference advancing to the playoffs.

The league has expanded from 28 teams in 1994 to 32 with last year's addition of the Houston Texans, but a 12-team playoff field has been in effect since 1990. The new proposed format would have an odd seven playoff teams in each conference, giving a bye to only the team with the best record. The division winner with the second-best record would play the third wild card team instead of receiving a bye.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index