The NFL draft has long been a staple of the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, but extenuating circumstances could pin the annual event elsewhere in 2015.
According to NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, more specifically Madison Square Garden, are possibilities for next year’s draft.
LA, Chicago and NY (MSG) are finalists to host 2015 NFL Draft. Why? Radio City informed @NFL that it will NOT be available in April or May
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 5, 2014
Radio City Hall is not available to host the draft in April or May of next year due to scheduling conflicts with other events. Twelve cities and clubs expressed interest in hosting the draft, according to reports, and more could jump into the mix in the future.
Some of the factors that will play into determining where the draft will be held includes the ability to host a fan festival in either an indoor or outdoor space and available hotel space. Finalists are expected to submit their plans in the middle of June and will undergo a review at the end of the month.
Per the report, NFL officials will visit each site before issuing a final verdict. Already, each potential host location is making their case to hold the event. Via NFL.com:
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have already started pitching their cities as hosts to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The Madison Square Garden Company figures to be heavily involved in the bidding process either way (it owns Radio City Music Hall) with the Garden as a potential site if the event stays in New York. The company also owns the Chicago Theater and The Forum in Los Angeles, two possible options in the other two cities.
In May, 11 cities not including New York showed interest in hosting the draft, according to Sports Illustrated. Known to be in the fold were Dallas, Green Bay, Houston, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia, Orlando, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Chicago and Canton, Ohio, the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Dallas Morning News reported that AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas has not been ruled out of contention for the event. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was “focusing on those three cities,” referring to Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, but “that could change.”
The 2015 edition of the draft is expected to be held April 22-25 or April 29-May 2, meaning the typical three-day event is going to be extended to four days.