NADA, NFL may still make a deal

WASHINGTON - Maybe, just maybe, car dealers and professional football can make a deal to switch the dates of the dealers' convention and the Super Bowl, both set for New Orleans early next year.

The National Automobile Dealers Association and the National Football League agreed Monday, Sept. 24, to attempt a deal that would have the dealers move their convention dates and allow the Super Bowl to be held a week later than planned, on Feb. 3.

NADA spokesman David Hyatt said it's too early to be either optimistic or pessimistic that a deal will occur.

"The obstacles are real and enormous," Hyatt said.

The decision to negotiate came after NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue visited NADA headquarters in McLean, Va., and met with NADA President Phil Brady.

Teams of staff members are scheduled to begin the discussions Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Asked about a published report that the NFL was willing to pay $10 million to get the NADA convention changed, Hyatt said there has been no discussion of a specific number so far.

But he said the convention is a $10 million to $15 million operation with additional related costs and more than 600 contracts in place.

The Super Bowl is currently set for Jan. 27, but because NFL games were cancelled the weekend after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the league needs to make some changes, either in the playoff schedule leading up to the Super Bowl or in the big game itself.

The dealers convention, with 30,000 people booked, is set for Feb. 2-5.

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