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Monday, May 20, 2024

It’s Not the Super Bowl, but Hosting the NFL Draft Is the Next Best Thing

  • The draft heads to Green Bay in 2025, and Pittsburgh wants it in ’26.
  • Hosting duties continue to be sought after by cities with no hope of getting the Big Game.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While Detroit is basking in the spotlight of hosting hundreds of thousands of fans over the next three days for the NFL draft, stakeholders in Green Bay are already gearing up for next year’s event at Lambeau Field and the adjacent Packers Titletown District.

The 2025 draft will mark the 10th time the NFL has taken its traveling road show outside of its longtime former home in New York City.

  • 2015–16: Chicago
  • 2017: Philadelphia
  • 2018: Dallas
  • 2019: Nashville
  • 2020: Virtual
  • 2021: Cleveland
  • 2022: Las Vegas
  • 2023: Kansas City (above)
  • 2024: Detroit
  • 2025: Green Bay

A Nice Consolation Prize

After experiencing early success going to huge media markets with longtime NFL fan bases, the draft this decade has turned into a mini version of a Super Bowl–like event for many cities that don’t have much hope of actually hosting the Big Game anytime soon—and all the media attention and fanfare that comes with it. With Las Vegas as the outlier (hosting the draft and Super Bowl LVIII within a span of 22 months), Cleveland, Kansas City, Detroit (which most recently hosted Super Bowl XL in 2006, a few years after Ford Field opened), and Green Bay aren’t getting their hopes up about the Lombardi Trophy coming to town (unless they win it).

The same can be said for other cities known to be on the prowl for future drafts. Earlier this year, Pittsburgh submitted an official bid to host either the 2026 or ’27 NFL draft. Last year, NFL officials visited Charlotte to hear the city’s pitch for hosting duties. Cincinnati and Denver have also been linked to potential future bids. Whether it’s colder-weather climates, stadiums that aren’t enclosed, or just a lack of hotels and restaurants, it’s safe to say neither of those four markets will be vying to host an upcoming Super Bowl.

Answers Coming Soon

Green Bay was awarded the 2025 draft at last year’s spring owners meeting. The league is scheduled to convene May 20–22 in Nashville, where an announcement on the host of the ’26 and even ’27 draft would not be a surprise.

Which city would you like to see host a future NFL draft? Let us know by replying to this newsletter.

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