It has now been confirmed that the NFL Draft will not be held at Radio City Music Hall in 2015. Does Green Bay have a shot to host the draft, like Mayor Jim Schmitt was hoping? It doesn’t look like it.
The NFL says that New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are the frontrunners for the 2015 draft, although “other cities remain in the mix.” In other words, all of the new potential host venues would have to screw up pretty badly for another venue to get a shot and we don’t see that happening.
Let’s deal with New York first. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
While the NFL has ruled out Radio City Music Hall, which has hosted the event since 2006, NYC is still in the mix. If the draft stays in New York, it will be held at Madison Square Garden.
Yippee! The NBA Draft was held there for a lot of years, so it’s got that going for it.
As for Chicago, there hasn’t been much information available about where the site would be, but good news if you live in Wisconsin. If the draft is held in Chicago, you can drive down with your Aaron Rodgers jersey on and be one of those guys.
As for Los Angeles, I’m happy to speculate because I live there. Downtown is tailor-made for the draft. It’s close to LAX and there are multiple venues that could house the event.
L.A. Live, which is located across the street from the Staples Center, hosted the 2010 NHL Draft. That venue houses the Nokia Theater, which seats 7,100.
Then there’s the Staples Center itself, which is home to the Lakers, Clippers and Kings. If the NFL is considering hosting the draft in an NBA arena in New York, then there’s no reason they couldn’t do it in one in a city where the weather isn’t crap.
The final piece to the puzzle in Los Angeles is the convention center. It’s right next to Staples and in very close proximity to the Nokia. It’s been reported that the NFL is looking for a spot that will allow them to hold a fan festival adjacent to the draft. Well, when you tack on the convention center to Staples or Nokia, there you go.
We’re not going to call L.A. the frontrunner because we don’t know what Chicago has to offer, but it makes a lot of sense.
As for the timetable, the NFL is looking at April 22-25 or April 29-May 2.
This year’s draft was held in May for the first time and everyone bitched about it, from team owners to personnel guys to fans. That would seem to point to the first set of dates as the favorite for the 2015 version.
One interesting note is that both windows start on a Wednesday, so the league is obviously looking to expand this thing once again. The draft used to be a Saturday to Sunday event. Then it was expanded, moved up a day and was held Thursday to Saturday.
In 2015, it looks like you’re going to be getting a Wednesday too.