Chicago To Host NFL Draft Again In 2016


For 57 years up thru the 2014 NFL Draft, the event was held in New York. The Big Apple utilized 13 different venues over the years to host the draft, with the last nine years at Radio City Music Hall. In other words, in the Super Bowl era of the NFL and for the vast majority of us who follow the game today, we have never known the draft to be in any other location than New York.

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When scheduling issues with Radio City Music Hall required the NFL to determine a new venue for 2015, several cities showed interest but the bidding came down to Los Angeles and Chicago. In the end, the Windy City’s bid was stronger and the draft came back to the midwest for the first time since it was held at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel from 1962 thru 1964.

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Initially there was some thought that the NFL would look to keep the event moving from year-to-year to allow new cities and new pockets of home-town fans to be a part of the festivities. While that may be the case in years to come, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his city are doing all they can to keep the event as long as possible.

Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Fans gather at DraftTown in Grant Park before the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today the NFL Network’s Steve Wyche was cited as confirming that Chicago will get to host the event again in 2016. NFL Insider Ian Rappoport added that it is again just a one-year commitment and that other cities could possibly become involved in bidding to host the event in 2017 and beyond. You can bet that Chicago will make every attempt to blow it out of the water once more next spring, and maybe keep it in town for longer.

Kudos to the city for doing a fantastic job of hosting this year, an effort that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell felt “set a new bar” for what the event could be. The dual site approach featured DraftTown in Grant Park, a festival where fans enjoyed free entry over the three-day draft.

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