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Arizona and New Orleans land future Super Bowls; Nashville will host the 2019 NFL draft

Arizona and New Orleans will be hosting Super Bowls again, and Nashville is getting the NFL draft for the first time, the league announced Wednesday.

The 2023 Super Bowl will be held at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and the 2024 game will be at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

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Arizona has played host to three Super Bowls, including two of the best, with the New York Giants upsetting the 18-0 New England Patriots in 2008, and Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler picking off Seattle’s Russell Wilson at the goal line in 2015.

The 2024 game will be a stadium record eighth time the Super Bowl will be held at the Superdome. It will be the 11th Super Bowl for New Orleans.

From 2019-22, the Super Bowls will be held in Atlanta, Miami, Tampa and Los Angeles.

Nashville will play host to next year’s draft, which has become a traveling circus since moving from New York after 2014. Chicago hosted two, followed by Philadelphia and Dallas.

New kickoff rules

NFL injury statistics show that returned kickoffs have about four times the concussion rate of any other play. That prompted owners to approve changes to the kickoff rules. They are as follows:

  • The kicking team must line up with five players on each side of the ball, instead of overloading one side.

  • Players on the kickoff team cannot line up any deeper than one yard off the ball, eliminating running starts.

  • At least two players must line up outside the yard-line number and at least two between the i yard-line number and hash marks.

  • At least eight players on the kickoff return unit must line up in the 15-yard “setup zone” — between the kicking team’s 40 and receiving team’s 45 — prior to the kickoff, and no more than three can stay out of the setup zone. This moves players on the return team closer to the ball, having them run backward as is done on punts, and thereby reducing the speed and impact of collisions.

  • Wedge blocks are banned.

The ball is dead if it’s not touched by the receiving team in the end zone. In that case, it’s a touchback.

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