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Atlanta hoping new stadium will lead to city hosting 2019 Super Bowl:

The hope for another Atlanta Super Bowl overshadowed Monday night’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Falcons’ new stadium, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

There were Super Bowl reminders everywhere, and none were subtle. The new stadium is scheduled to open in 2017. Atlanta officials hope the Super Bowl is played in the stadium as soon as 2019.

A plane pulled a banner which read “Break Ground on Super Bowl Too.”

Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would be warmly received anytime, “especially if he wants to announce that we’re going to win the Super Bowl.”

Goodell is in town for Tuesday’s meeting of NFL owners, who are expected to vote on the site of the 2018 Super Bowl. Atlanta could be considered for next year’s vote on the 2019 game.

Goodell made no reference to Atlanta’s aspirations to host its third Super Bowl. He applauded Falcons owner Arthur Blank and said the new stadium is important for the Falcons and the city.

Goodell also said it was no surprise that Blank oversaw a big show for the groundbreaking ceremony. Visitors were given 3-D glasses for a video show of the stadium, accompanied by fireworks.

The new $1.2 billion retractable-roof stadium will replace the Georgia Dome, which opened in 1992 and hosted Super Bowls in 1994 and 2000.

An ice storm marred Atlanta’s last Super Bowl. Monday night’s ceremony was held with temperatures in the mid-60s.

The ideal weather gave Blank an opportunity for his own Super Bowl pitch.

"Welcome to a typical evening in Atlanta," Blank said via the Journal-Constitution. "So to my NFL partners who will one day vote for a Super Bowl, this is normal weather in Atlanta, even in February."

New Orleans, Minneapolis and Indianapolis are the leading contenders for the 2018 game. A stadium has to be open for two years before it is eligible to host a Super Bowl, so Atlanta’s first year of eligibility in the new stadium will be 2019. (Photo: John Amis/Associated Press)

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