2015 NFL Draft To Be Held In Chicago Or LA
By Allen Kim
Say goodbye to New York City. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the 2015 NFL Draft will be held in either Chicago, IL or Los Angeles, CA, bringing an end to New York’s stranglehold as the host city of the draft.
“We’re focusing solely on Los Angeles and Chicago now,” Goodell said while speaking to reporters during a CBS “Thursday Night Football” panel.
“We had 12 cities that were interested,” Goodell said. “We felt the best thing to do was to focus on the three cities, because they had such a tremendous interest. There are very attractive aspects to each of those cities. Because we don’t have the appropriate dates in May our focus is completely on Los Angeles and Chicago.
“They both have tremendous bids.”
The iconic Radio City Music Hall in New York City has long been the home of the NFL draft, with the draft taking place in New York dating all the way back to 1965. However, change is coming, as the venue could not offer available dates in April and May to host the event.
Los Angeles and Chicago are the second- and third-largest cities in the US, and it certainly makes sense to hold such a pivotal event in one of the largest markets in the nation. Goodell would not disclose exactly when they would announce a decision, but it’s expected to come in a few weeks.
“I just got an update two days ago,” he said. “I believe the decision will come in late summer, but we’re not going to be bound by that. We’re going to do the right thing.”
There has been talk of the draft being expanded by adding another day onto what has been typically a three-day event. The problem, though, is figuring out how to maintain fan interest. Fans begin to gradually lose interest in the later rounds of the draft, so maintaining a high level of interest when the late picks are announced will present a number of challenges for the league.
“We’re talking about different concepts, primarily how to strengthen the last day and whether we should maybe push that back to the clubs a little bit more and allow the clubs to have a little bit more freedom as more of a club day,” Goodell said. “Maybe they would announce the picks from there. We’re looking at everything under the sun, because there’s a great interest in it and we want to do something that’s more responsive to our fans.”
The NFL wisely realizes how lucrative the NFL draft is for them, and expanding the event only means more money for the league to pocket.