Tuesday's news that Tampa Bay was eliminated from contention for the 2018 Super Bowl is a sign of the times.
Minneapolis, Indianapolis and New Orleans made the cut, and the winner will be chosen at a league meeting in May. Go ahead and pencil in Minneapolis as the early favorite because that city will have a new stadium opening in 2016, and the NFL likes to reward cities that build new stadiums.
Indianapolis, which has a relatively new stadium and hosted the 2012 Super Bowl, also is a finalist. So is New Orleans, which hosted the 2013 Super Bowl in a renovated Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Tampa Bay last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009. But it seems as if the area has been passed over in the rotation.
That's disappointing because Tampa Bay still has one of the league's better stadiums, nice weather and good logistics. Tampa Bay isn't in a situation where it needs new stadium or major renovations. But the region is stuck in line behind cities with new or upgraded stadiums.