The 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia was a smashing success with over 250,000 football fans attending the event in Philadelphia. With the city hosting the draft expected to make plenty of money off the event, more and more cities are bidding for the annual event.
While New York has stated their desire to bring the Draft back to Manhattan, Detroit is now jumping on the Draft train as well. According to MLive.com, the Detroit Lions are not only bidding for the 2018 NFL Draft, but also the 2019 edition as well.
The Lions are hoping to secure one of the bids this fall when the NFL begins rolling out three or four NFL Draft venues at a time, just like how they announce Super Bowl venues.
“If it’s a three-year cycle, I would bid for all three and hopefully win one of them,” president Rod Wood said Wednesday.
ESPN reported back in April that Dallas was the leading candidate to host the 2018 NFL Draft. Other potential 2018 sites include Philadelphia, Kansas City, Green Bay, and now Detroit.
One reason why Dallas is enticing to the NFL is the Cowboys just built a new training facility in Frisco, right outside of Dallas, which is where the Cowboys are pitching for the Draft to be held. In the Motor City, Wood said nothing is set in stone, but he thinks the Fox Theater in downtown Detroit, a short walk from Ford Field, would be a great venue.
The first step Wood and Detroit took to landing the NFL Draft in the near future was sending a group of representatives to Philadelphia this year to help spread the word about their bid.
“We were invited along with a number of other cities to have people in Philadelphia for the draft, so we had somebody from our staff and somebody from the city attend to kind of see first hand what it’s like to host it,” Wood said. “So that’ll help us when we put our bid together, so we can do it in a way that hopefully picks up on what they did and do it in a Detroit way.”
New York City hosted the NFL Draft from 1965-2014 before the NFL moved it into a rotation between various cities. Chicago hosted the event in 2015 and 2016 before Philadelphia hosted it in 2017.
“We have some thoughts on what we can do,” he said. “I’m not going to get into specifics, but we’ll work on making it as exciting as it was in Philadelphia — but with maybe some of the restraints around weather that I can’t really count on 80 degrees like they had.”
While the Lions manage their NFL Draft bids, Wood said they’ll also be working on bidding for the next round of Super Bowls, a process that could start next spring.