5 cities that should host future NFL Drafts

2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 4-7
2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 4-7 / David Becker/GettyImages
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When it comes to hosting a Superbowl, the NFL wants to hold the ultimate NFL spectacular in an inviting climate for almost 100,000 people who show up to see the event. Thus, the NFL does not want to see people freezing to death if they held the Superbowl in the confines of Lambeau Field. The NFL draft is a different story. It’s strictly an indoor event, and no one needs to be exposed to the elements, although when Las Vegas hosted the draft last year, it was an indoor and outdoor event.

While the Superbowl may be the NFL’s premier event each year, the NFL draft is now a close second and broadcast live on television and the radio. It has become the NFL’s own version of “reality” television. In part, in 1994, the NFL and the draft evolved. For the first time, underclassmen were drafted in greater numbers.

Free agency reshaped the way the NFL functioned as a business and then came the rise of the NFL mock drafts by Dr. Z, Mel Kiper, and others and ESPN’s ability to finally get rights to NFL games in 1987. By 1994 Mel Kipers big board was a fixture on ESPN’s coverage of the NFL draft due to its rise in popularity. Then came Mel Kiper’s feud with Colt’s general manager, Bill Tobin.

Eventually, in 2010 the NFL changed its draft format to three days instead of one specifically for television. However, that was not always the case. For much of its history, the NFL draft was held in the middle of the week, early in the afternoon. You had to catch the hourly news updates on your local AM radio station to see who was drafted or wait for the following day's newspaper.

Since 1938 New York hosted the draft 56 times, with its longest stretch from 1965-2014. In the pre-television draft era, six other cities did host a draft. Philadelphia was the host 12 times in 1936, 1944, and from 1949-1961. Chicago hosted it six times between 1938-1962, Pittsburgh hosted it twice in 1948-1949, with the three other cities Los Angeles in 1956, Milwaukee in 1940, and Washington DC in 1941.

In the modern television and internet era the NFL has taken the NFL draft on the road thus far the cities have included Nashville in 2019, Dallas in 2018, Chicago in 2015-2016, Philadelphia in 2017, Las Vegas in 2020, Cleveland in 2021, and Kansas City will host 2023 draft later this week. No one hosted the 2020 NFL draft due to the Covid Pandemic.  

Thus since it appears the NFL will continue to take the show on the road, here are five Cities that should host future NFL draft events.