The rumors about a transition to a bigger,
better longer NFL Draft have been bouncing around for a while now, and there is further confirmation that this shift is in the NFL's plans. The 2015 NFL Draft will also be held at a location other than Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The league is still considering New York City as a possible location, and Chicago and Los Angeles are in the mix as potential host cities, also.
A league source told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport that Radio City Music Hall, which has hosted the NFL Draft each year since 2006, will definitely not host the 2015 event. It's possible that the 2015 draft could be held in New York City at a different venue--Madison Square Garden is a possibility. The Madison Square Garden Company owns and operates Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall in New York City, as well as the Chicago Theatre and the Forum in Los Angeles, so they may be winners no matter what decisions are made by the league.
The mayors of Chicago and Los Angeles have already begun lobbying the league for the privilege of hosting the next NFL Draft. If I had to guess, I'd say that Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel is probably out of luck. As the league continues to weigh the possibility of establishing a team in the Los Angeles area, Los Angeles seems like a likely destination for the 2015 NFL Draft.
The league has established some specific criteria that host cities must meet, including space for a large fan festival during the event. The league has requested bids from potential host cities to be submitted by mid-June, and a decision should be made later this summer. Cities have been asked to submit bids spanning two timeframes, April 22nd through 25th, and April 29th through May 2nd.
We can discern two things from these dates. First, the league could expand the NFL Draft to a four day extravaganza in 2015. I'm not entirely certain why the NFL believes that a longer, more drawn out draft process is a good idea, but it seems like that's what we'll be getting one way or the other.
Another thing to keep an eye on is that this league source told Rapoport that 12 different cities had expressed interest in hosting the NFL Draft. I would be willing to bet that one of these cities was Atlanta, and it's entirely possible that we could see the event held in this fair city in the future.
Where do you think the 2015 NFL Draft will end up? What do you think about the transition to a four-day draft process?