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The NFL Draft is leaving New York

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For the first time since 1964 the NFL draft will not be held in New York City.

This according to Commissioner Roger Goodell, who said the Annual Selection Meeting would either be in Los Angeles or Chicago.

"We're focusing solely on Los Angeles and Chicago now," Goodell said.

"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."

The commissioner said that the dates the league wanted to hold the draft were not available at Radio City Music Hall in New York, where the draft has been held since 2006.

The draft had been in the Big Apple since 1964, but the scheduling issues, and what Goodell called something 'more responsive for our fans' are the reason its on the move.

Why the Windy City?

Chicago is the third largest media market in the United States, and would have several venues that could host the draft.

If the league is interested in upping the fan participation, it could take a page from the NHL and NBA's draft books and hold the draft in an arena.

The NBA has held its last 23 drafts in NBA arenas, and the NHL has held all but one draft since 1980 at the home arena of one of its clubs.

They may be able to book the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks to hold the draft, as an NFL stadium might not be an intimate enough setting to hold the draft.

Why Tinseltown?

Los Angeles has a myriad places the draft could be held, including the Staples Center, where the Lakers, Clippers, and Kings play.

Also, the media exposure from having it in L.A., and the ability to promote it like a major red carpet event might be a draw for the league, especially in a town where NFL football hasn't been played in 20 years. 

The fact that the NFL has begun at noon eastern for the second round and prior to that, the first round may be a hindrance, but the with the first round having started in prime-time the last few seasons, that may not be an issue.

Also, ESPN and NFL Network, who carry the draft live on television have major operations in Los Angeles, so there may be a logistical advantage to holding the draft in the City of Angels.


It's a good move for the NFL, if for no other reason than to stay in the news cycle. 

The league is among the most powerful sports leagues in the world, and will command interest just based on where the draft is held because of the tremendous interest in it. 

The scheduling conflict will work in the League's favor, and will help the NFL continue to expand its dominance over other parts of the sporting calendar than just its regular season and playoffs.

Chicago Bears
NFL Draft

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