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2016 NFL Draft: Chicago selected as host city


The 2016 NFL Draft will be staying in Chicago, Illinois for at least one more year.

Announced last week, the city of Chicago, which hosted the 2015 NFL Draft, will continue to host until the NFL introduces a new bidding approach in selecting the host city of the NFL Draft for future years.

The decision to host in Chicago during the 2015 NFL Draft broke the historical tie the NFL had to Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Radio City Music Hall hosted the draft from 1964-2014.

Chicago raised the bar in many ways, including building a massive “draft town” that over 200,000 people visited. As stated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, “Based on the success of last year’s Draft and our high expectations for the 2016 Draft, Chicago continues to raise the bar for future Drafts.”

The 2016 NFL Draft will be held April 28-30.

Can another city compete at the same level as mega-cities like Chicago and New York City and build a true spectacle for the NFL Draft?

I think it is hard to replicate the same feel in smaller markets. As Los Angeles continues to lack an NFL team, it stands to cities like Chicago and New York to really lead the charge in this endeavor. While other cities ranging from Seattle to Dallas to Nashville could create some pretty spectacular and unique draft experiences, Chicago has really upped the ante for draft experiences. Drawing massive crowds to an outdoor “draft town” would be difficult in smaller markets and would likely not fulfill the goals set forth by the NFL.

For now, we don’t know the selection process the NFL will use to determine future host cities, though Chicago is apparently under consideration again. Whether they will take into account the ability to create a massive spectacle or tone things down and accept smaller markets creating more traditional experiences in theaters remains to be scene.

For my money, it will be difficult to top Chicago’s approach, though if an NFL owner with plenty of cash really wanted to help in the bidding process we could see something really special.

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