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Indy, 2 others make case for 2018 Super Bowl

The three cities vying to host the 2018 Super Bowl entered the home stretch.

Organizers in Indianapolis and Minneapolis held news conferences to say they had formally distributed their bids to the 32 team owners, though neither group was willing to provide many specifics to the public. New Orleans organizers were even quieter.

With a May 20 vote looming, nobody wanted to give away any secret strategies.

“It’s a very competitive process,” Indy bid Chairwoman Allison Melangton said. “We’ve got 13 days to go, and we want to take every competitive advantage we’ve got.”

Indianapolis had the fewest problems of any recent host and the 2012 game was widely praised by fans, media and league officials with only one major complaint – not enough downtown hotel rooms.

Indy organizers noted in their 900-page bid that two more large downtown hotels could be completed in time for the game.

New Orleans is planning upgrades to the state-owned Superdome.

Indianapolis is not planning any changes to Lucas Oil Stadium, and Minneapolis’ stadium shouldn’t need any work.

Indy and Minneapolis have both been working on private funding to help cover the costs.

Indianapolis heads to Atlanta with roughly $30 million already pledged – enough to cover the entire cost of the host committee. That was a major selling point in each of city’s two previous bids. Melangton also noted they planned to expand the Super Bowl Village, which originated with Indy’s first Super Bowl, and will have another legacy project in the community.

Colts owner Jim Irsay, who hasn’t been seen publicly since his March 16 arrest on preliminary charges of driving while intoxicated and four counts of possession of a controlled substance, will make the closing pitch. He’s been undergoing treatment since March 18.

“There’s no question he will be there,” Colts COO Pete Ward told The Associated Press after the news conference.

Instead, the question is whether Irsay’s presence could have an impact on the vote.

Melangton doesn’t buy it.

“A lot of running the Super Bowl has to do with the execution,” she said. “And no city in the country has done that better than this one (Indy), hands down.”

Around the league

Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman signed a four-year contract extension with the Seahawks worth $57.4 million with $40 million guaranteed, making him one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in NFL history. … San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick said on Twitter he’s eager to have the truth come out in a Miami investigation involving him and two other NFL players. …

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed optimism that the Bills will remain in Buffalo and suggested the franchise will need a new stadium to ensure its long-term viability. … Buffalo defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia after being stopped by an Alabama state trooper Monday night. …

The NFL Players Association confirmed it filed a grievance on behalf of Jimmy Graham concerning the Saints’ tight end’s franchise tag designation. … A day after he was reinstated by the NFL and cut by the Redskins, veteran safety Tanard Jackson signed a new deal with Washington. … Longtime Pittsburgh scout Bill Nunn died Tuesday night of complications from a stroke. He was 89.