A Super Bowl rematch between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints could be pushed back to 2020 or 2021, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations said.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank told ESPN on Friday that the Super Bowl matchup between the teams would likely be pushed to 2018, but would be rescheduled if the league decides to go forward with a rematch in 2019.
“We’d like to have a resolution in the very near future to put a date forward for this game,” Blank said.
“I’m sure that if we were to go ahead with a Super Bowl, it would be a very significant resolution to have that date, but we want to make sure that we don’t delay that resolution.”
The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement requires teams to play their home games in 2018 and 2021.
It is also the date that the two teams first met in the regular season in the 2017 NFC title game.
The Saints were eliminated from the playoffs in that game, with the Falcons winning on a late field goal.
The game was played in Atlanta and featured the best defense in the league, a New Orleans-led defense and a high-flying offense that produced three touchdown drives in the third quarter.
The game was one of the greatest upsets in Super Football history, but the Saints went on to lose the Superdome in their rematch.
Blank has expressed interest in reopening the game in 2019 or 2020.
He told ESPN he was not sure whether the league would make a decision on a 2019 Super Bowl.
However, the league has said it would make that decision in 2020.