NFL owners voted Tuesday to play the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, the first time the championship game will be played there since Hurricane Katrina shredded parts of the Louisiana Superdome. The hurricane caused 1,600 deaths and devastated the Gulf Coast four years ago.
New Orleans beat out Miami -- which sought a record 11th Super Bowl -- and 2008 host Glendale, Ariz., for the game. This is the 10th time New Orleans will be the site for the Super Bowl.
"It's a great day for our community," Saints owner Tom Benson said as he walked onto an elevator at a South Florida hotel, on his way to the formal announcement.
New Orleans last hosted in 2002, when Adam Viniateri's 48-yard field goal as time expired lifted New England over St. Louis.
Still unclear: Where will the 2013 Pro Bowl be played? It's coming to Miami a week before this coming season's Super Bowl, then going back to Hawaii in 2011 and 2012.
It was not part of the bidding process for the 2013 Super Bowl.
"Where it (the Pro Bowl) goes after 2012 is something we'll decide later on," said Frank Supovitz, the NFL's senior vice president for events.
Louisiana lawmakers have already approved plans to spend $85 million in Superdome upgrades, which would be completed in time for the 2013 NFL title game. The upgrades would include additional seating, new suites, wider concourses and other measures for the New Orleans Saints to generate new revenue streams.
The Superdome played an iconic role during Katrina, which struck the city in August 2005. It was an evacuation center during the storm, housing thousands of people who had nowhere else to go, and the devastation was nightmarish. Within days, the building was tattered, filthy inside from mold, debris and raw sewage.
Over the next year, the Superdome was rebuilt, and slowly, New Orleans has tried to get back to what it once was. The stories of suffering are still everywhere -- even now, some who lost nearly everything in 2005 are fighting to keep their federally provided trailers a bit longer.
One thing is back to normal: New Orleans still knows how to host an event. College football's national championship game was played there in 2008, followed about six weeks later by the NBA All-Star game.
Arizona also failed in bids for the 2011 and 2012 Super Bowls, which were awarded to new stadiums in North Texas and Indianapolis, respectively.