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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Next Likely Future Stop for NFL Draft’s Roadshow: Green Bay

  • NFL’s off-season event has become a traveling circus.
  • First round TV coverage averaged 11.4M viewers.
2023 NFL Draft was held in Kansas City.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets, but their city appears set for a consolation prize: the 2025 NFL Draft. 

At the annual league meeting in March, NFL executive Peter O’Reilly told reporters the host is expected to be announced at the next owners meeting, which begins in Minnesota on May 22. 

The Packers have long been the favorite to land the 2025 event. Packers team president Mark Murphy said last July that Green Bay “likely” would host either the 2025 or 2027 NFL Draft. 

The Packers have submitted a bid in partnership with Discover Green Bay at an expected cost of up to $7 million. A team spokesperson said the Packers are contributing $1 million for the effort.

With a population of only 108,000, the Wisconsin city is the smallest NFL market — but the league could also accommodate press and spectators in Milwaukee, a two-hour drive away.

In March, the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District approved a measure clearing the way for 50% of the ticket taxes for non-Packers events at Lambeau Field through 2027 to go toward hosting the draft. 

Prime Time Pays Off

The league’s premier offseason event has become a traveling circus, providing economic benefits for city after city. 

Held in New York City from 1964-2014, the annual event has stopped in Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Nashville, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and Kansas City. The 2024 Draft is scheduled for Detroit. 

The draft turned into a three-day extravaganza in 2010, with the first round beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday night and the second and third rounds at 7 p.m. ET on Friday night. The final four rounds take place on Saturday.

The TV audience for this year’s first round was the third-highest ever, averaging 11.4 million viewers across TV and digital — up 11% from last year.

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