For the past eight years, the NFL has held its draft every April at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. However, due to a scheduling conflict, plans for the 2014 draft are up in the air. Roger Goddell announced at a press conference today that the draft will likely move to May next year. Now, I’ve worked as an event planner enough to know losing your venue is usually a huge blow to any event. However, this move may actually help the NFL in the long run.
The NFL is already the most popular league in the United States, and moving the draft back will only help it command even more attention. The April draft date already takes away media coverage from the other three major sports leagues. It occurs around the time of MLB’s opening day, as well as NHL and NBA playoffs. If anything, it gives sports media outlets two or three extra weeks to finalize their mock drafts and provide extra analysis.
NFL officials should also consider taking the show on the road. Finding a new location to host the draft should not be that difficult, especially since there are 31 vacant NFL stadiums sitting around the country. This would give fans outside of New York a chance to attend. I know that one reason the draft is held in New York is because if its proximity to the league offices, but if the combine can be in Indianapolis why can’t the draft be moved to a different city as well? Personally, I think that gigantic, over-priced stadium in Dallas would be an excellent venue to host a future NFL Draft.
Do you think the NFL Draft should move out of New York? If so, what cities would you like to see it in!