Report: Draft could go on the road


Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.

Actually, don’t stop us.  Because you have heard it before.  It’s one of the stories that pops up from time to time, with plenty of talk and to date no action.

Gary Myers of the New York Daily News reports that the draft could go on the road as soon as 2015.  And Myers accurately points out that, if the draft were to leave New York, a bidding war would emerge for the right to host the event.  It’s also possible that the draft would be held in multiple cities, a feature that would be absolutely necessary if the NFL even follows through on the very unpopular idea of expanding the draft from three days to four.

It’s likewise possible (if not probable) that the NFL is simply trying to apply pressure to Radio City Music Hall, which hosts the annual event.  Per Myers, the contract at Radio City applies only this year, with options for the future.

Which means that, in order to squeeze Radio City into the best possible deal for the NFL, Radio City needs to stare down the barrel of losing the draft completely.  Which could mean better financial terms and a more flexible schedule that lets the NFL hold the draft when the NFL wants to hold the draft, regardless of the kind of scheduling conflict that ostensibly delayed the draft by two weeks this year.

Regardless of the reason, there’s a sense the NFL welcomed the delay, so that it could experiment with a May draft.  That experiment has been a dud.  Fans despise it, players and agents don’t like it, and the teams don’t like it.  Meanwhile, the NFL created a lull that helped the NBA expertly address an unwanted situation and become the dominant sport for the first time in a long time.

Ultimately, we think the NFL likes having the draft in New York City, for a wide variety of reasons.  It’s got caché.  For the many NFL employees who staff the event, it’s got convenience.  And it ensures maximum media coverage, both in New York and beyond.

Let’s not forget the ratings angle.  The mere hosting of the Super Bowl in the New York area delivered the highest New York area ratings for a Super Bowl in years.  By that same logic, a departure of the draft from New York could reduce New York interest watching the event on TV.

93 responses to “Report: Draft could go on the road

  1. when the NFL found out that the theater in MSG was booked for that week…NFL should have been pro-active and taken the draft straight to Vegas

    have the draft in Vegas!!!!!

  2. The logical choice is London…..being all fans love games there according to the commish???

  3. To think people wouldn’t watch the draft because of the city it’s in is ridiculous. If it were to move from city to city the nfl could hold it in bigger venues thus sell more tickets and the ratings are going to be the same no matter where you have it.

  4. It’ll be held under the Big Top. Just past the elephants, and right next to the flying trapeze. You’ll hear the music and smell the food cooking when you get close.

  5. Fidel Goodell wants to have it outside and in the cold weather like the Super Bowl. Maybe they should have it in London where nobody cares?

  6. Stop screwing with things!

    Goodell is trying too hard to make the game better by constantly updating things for no reason.

    STOP IT!

  7. .

    The best part of the NFL Draft is the looks of pain and anguish on the faces of Jets fans who view every pick as the second coming of Vernon Gholson.


  8. Cue the comments regarding how it’s “all about money.” Well, it should be. They aren’t a charity, they’re a business. And if they’re making a lot of money, it obviously means SOMEBODY is happy with the product, and they’re doing SOMETHING right.

  9. I actually think that idea would be pretty cool. Radio City is great, but why not hold the draft in Vegas or L.A. every once in a while? Or how about somewhere in flyover country like Chicago or Dallas?

  10. First, move the Draft back to April. Second, rotate it through the NFL cities. Third, keep it at three (3) days.

  11. OK…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

    If you want an intriguing draft, and want to make the ProBowl watchable, do the following.

    Make the 1st round 33 picks and the 6th round 33 picks. The team that wins the ProBowl, say the NFC for example, gets every team in their division added into a lottery for the 33rd pick and the losing team, same scenario for the 33rd pick of the 6th round.

    This would make the draft more exciting and make the ProBowl worth something. Especially if the lower ranked teams have more balls in the lottery.

    Just my opinion.

  12. NY fans will lose interest b/c the draft isn’t held in a convenient location for them?
    Amazingly enough, there are 30 other NFL cities, and believe it or not there are tens of millions of fans for those 30 teams, and many of those fans are so devoted that they make an expensive trek to NY to watch the draft in person.
    I’m guessing that NY fans (much like SEC fans), will refuse to travel to watch their team when they draft in a different area of the country.

  13. Why does Goodell feel the need to change things that are already successful?? I guess he feels that being on top is the NFL’s God-given right and will never change. Good luck with that, Roger…that’s what happened to Major League Baseball before their popularity fell.

  14. Moving the draft around and allowing other NFL fans outside of NYC have the experience in their hometown is a good move!

  15. I don’t mind them rotating it, that would be good to generate a bit of excitement, provide a fresh backdrop, and ability to focus a bit on the host city’s franchise.

    But they should move it back to April, these extra 3 weeks aren’t doing anybody any good. They’re even bored and sick of it on the NFL network.

    And I think they should keep it to 2 days.
    Put the first 3 rounds in prime time, then finish it up the next day. But for sure, back to early April.

  16. HA!!! Like NYC would actually let a massive attraction like the NFL Draft leave. Thousands of tourists from all over the country come for a couple days to stay in the city. It’s a cash cow, one that only keeps getting bigger and bigger every year with all the glitz and media attention.

    NYC giving up hosting the NFL Draft is about as like as Sony giving up distribution of Spider-man movies.

  17. Hosting it in the SB winners city would be a good PR move. Share the wealth a little there NoFunLeague! You’re tighter than frogs butts, and they’re waterproof.

  18. The NFL should definitely move the draft among league cities- a different one every year.

    First off, it’s because Radio City made other plans (which they subsequently cancelled) that the draft is in May this year instead of April, which should pretty much disqualify Radio City from ever hosting it again. There are plenty of other venues around the country that would be happy to host a 3-4 day NFL Draft event- and be willing to make room in their schedule to host it.

    Secondly, while one can argue whether New York has cache or not, or if that even matters, moving the draft around league cities would keep it fresh, and for a lot of league cities it would be a big deal- not lost in the shuffle of Radio City’s booking manager. You don’t think, for example, Green Bay would love to host the event? The public relations and exposure of moving the event around league cities would be much more beneficial to the league than whatever cache they think New Yorkers booing the Jets pick adds to the proceedings. As for convenience, did I mention the draft would have been held already if it wasn’t for Radio City?

    Third, moving the draft around league cities is a great way to share the revenue among league venues. Lots of NFL stadiums were built with public money, and getting some added return on investment by hosting a 3-4 day draft weekend is good business- and good public relations.

    The ratings argument is BS. People are going to watch the draft no matter where its held. Nobody’s going to say, “well, its in Chicago this year so I’m not watching it.”

    Frankly, it’s a wonder the idea of moving the draft around league cities wasn’t adopted years, or decades ago.

  19. Chalk up another vote for making it a different NFL city every year. I like the idea of it’s being the city with the #1 pick to give that city’s fans some extra excitement. But if that isn’t feasible planning wise, definitely give every city with a team the draft one year and rotate it. The SB is a bidding war among bigger cities that are mostly warm weather cities. It would be nice for all fan bases to get a shot at hosting an NFL event. I’m not a fan of the three day format either. If they must do prime time, make it Friday and Saturday (so that fans can still have exciting draft parties).

  20. Yes, just like the NHL, why give a monopoly to Jets and Giants fans ? And in the same town is where the Pro Bowl is held, players have enough money to go to Hawaii on their own…start paying back the cities where NFL teams are in.

  21. The mere hosting of the Super Bowl in the New York area delivered the highest New York area ratings for a Super Bowl in years.

    By that same logic, wouldn’t they get the most eyeballs if they hosted the draft in California?

  22. I’m in favor of moving the draft to different cities; however, the NFL needs to move the draft back into April and forget the idea of having the draft expanded to 4 days.

  23. Regardless of where it is, they should have the first three rounds of the draft on Saturday and the next three rounds on Sunday.

    Oh, wait…

  24. Remember the good old days of Pete Rozell? When nothing changed much from year to year? And players hit? And Refs made calls and stood by them? And You could watch Heidi instead of the Raiders?

  25. I still don’t get why having the Super Bowl in NYC, with two teams New Yorkers don’t care about, and with a week of massive inconvenience, made many of us watch. By the time that circus left town, I was glad it did and was just relieved the game didn’t get a blizzard. I had lost all interest in watching by Sunday night.

    Though a lot of that is on the Broncos not showing up.

  26. Why not move it around? There is absolutely no reason that it has to be in New York City.
    Teams bid for the Super Bowl, cities could bid for the Draft (and it doesn’t have to be only cities with NFL teams). Las Vegas is a great idea.
    This is one of Goodell’s few good ideas, but he still needs to be enthusiastically booed when he strides to the stage and announces that the Houston Texans are on the clock.

  27. The #1 draft choice should have no bearing on who the host city is. The logistics would be practically impossible unless you pushed it back even further. The only one that gets hurt is NYC and they could use getting knocked down a peg or two. The regular season ends December 28, 3 1/2 months isn’t enough time to market, much less schedule an event of that size.

  28. sick and tired of hearing about whats good for new york. screw new york what about the rest of the country

  29. I think you let teams/cities bid on the draft like they do for the Super Bowl, with plans for a fan experience, appropriate venue for the event, and because this is not a game, all 32 cities can bid. Granted, Green Bay may need to use Milwaukee, since there may not be enough infrastructure in GB to support an event like this.

    But definitely move it out of New York, and open it up for bid. The32 teams can manage to support the NFL league office personnel traveling for a few days away from Park Ave. And let the league showcase its members for this event, since more than half the league can’t bid on the Super Bowl.

  30. Also the league should be renamed to NFE as in the WWE, or even it could be named RGFL roger goddell football league

  31. Stupid idea. It’s not about cache or whatever reason you uninformed life forms want to throw against the wall, it’s about the largest media market in the country, TWO NFL teams and of course the league HQ.
    Let that last part sink in. Those of you in the know can relate. The rest, get over it.

  32. While changing venues might drum up some more interest (if possible), they should also consider:

    5 minutes per pick – all rounds. With all the time teams have predraft – workouts, combines, prodays, interviews… if you don’t know who you are going to pick come that day, 15 minutes isn’t going to help. Speed this thing up. Make teams react. You aren’t sending the card up at 4m58s, next team go! Making day one one round only is tedious, at best.

  33. Has there ever been talk about them moving the combine?…. I also have wondered why Indianapolis is the sole host site for that event.

  34. I agree with the draft moving from city to city.
    Build events like they do with the super bowl NFL experience. Families will come out and it’ll give more fans the chance to see the event live. Take the draft on the road

  35. I can’t lie. You put the draft in Vegas, I’d fly out every year for it with buddies. Talk about an awesome guys weekend….

  36. The draft should be in Canton… that’s where the NFL started and where every draft hopeful dreams of finishing their career.

  37. Stop messing around with the draft already. It should be in NYC & more importantly it should be in April. This May draft has absolutely killed the buzz & given teams too much time to over think the picks.

  38. Have it at my house…..I have great wifi access and some extra beers in the fridge left over from Super Bowl

  39. They should lose it. If you have a scheduling conflict on a night that has been reserved for the last 5 or so years then you obviously don’t care that much. I’m pretty salty about having to wait two more weeks.

  40. Eight 4-Team Divisions is just too perfect… let’s change it!

    Two 6-Team Playoffs is too pefect it… let’s change it!

    A 2 day draft on a Saturday/Sunday makes too much sense… change it!

    Extra Points and Kickoffs have done just fine for nearly 50+ years… move em around and change it!

    All Games in the US… Go overseas for 1… no 2… let’s do one a week… let’s move a team there!

    NFL, why do you have to change so many seemingly fine aspects about the game that existed as the NFL became the most popular sport in the US (before these changes)? You don’t have to “change just to change”.

  41. Jerry Jones says come to his house ! Plenty of room for all . Lots more seats and I could use the extra money too help with the payments.

  42. We all voted that we only want a 2 Day Draft… now NFL wants 4 days!!

    3 Days is too long! well Maybe do 1st and 2nd rounds the first night. 3rd and 4th then 5-7 on the 3rd day…

  43. Your Headline should read “Draft Should Go on the Road”. Move it to a different NFL city every year and have a two day Saturday and Sunday draft the last weekend of April every year. Simple.

  44. “Let’s not forget the ratings angle. The mere hosting of the Super Bowl in the New York area delivered the highest New York area ratings for a Super Bowl in years.”

    Just what were these people watching when the Giants were in the Super Bowl?

  45. If football “is all about the fans” as Goodel proclaims, moving the draft from team to team would allow local fans access to the event. And make it an event:

    * Coaching clinics for local high-school teams.
    * Draftees have autograph sessions for local fans (especially youth teams).
    * Charity dinners with Coaches/execs for adult fans.

    Give the fans access to execs and players they don’t normally have.

  46. I don’t like messing with tradition, so I’d rather it stay where it is. I’m not a Jet fan, but there’s just something about them going crazy when they’re on the clock. It’s what I’ve always known. But ultimately it doesn’t matter, I’ll watch it on tv anyway.

  47. This is good news. Sooner or later they will end up in a location that won’t draw any fans and the product will be appear even more boring to the casual viewer and ratings will drop. When they attempt to come crawling back to the diehards, they will have lost interest and hopefully tell the NFL to screw off.

  48. Having the draft in different cities is a great idea. Having it in May and over 4 days is a Terrible idea. Having it in cowpoke towns like Green Bay, Minneapolis, Jacksonville, Buffalo, Kansas City is a terrible idea.

  49. 99.9% of the people who watch the draft watch it on TV. They don’t care where it is. Ratings will not be affected by moving it or keeping as they’re tied to NFL popularity; not location.

    Move it. Keep it at MSG. I don’t care either way. I’ll watch it on the tube, and it will be televised.

    Could be a bone to cities like Minn, Cle, Det, Pitt, KC, Cinci, Balt,…smaller market cities that will never host the super bowl. Most of them have sufficient venues to host a reasonably large event the size of the draft. Cleveland has a few, including the second largest theater district in the country, outside of New York.

    LA could host, too. They don’t have a team and they want one. Vegas is another good option.

  50. Not “every” NFL city can host the draft. (Green Bay). But I like the idea that the team with the No. 1 overall pick gets to host it. The only problem with it is that doesn’t leave much time for host city to prepare. At best you’re looking at Week 12 of the prior season….what is that 6 months? Most cities that don’t end in “York” can’t handle that short notice.

  51. Since the NFL now likes to take revenue away from teams each year by making them play a home game in London, for some misconstrued reason, maybe they could choose to have the draft in one of those towns NOT located in NY. They would have to make the schedule a year in advance to allow for timing to work out but that shouldn’t be a big issue. This would allow some revenue back into the coffers of one the teams city that gets a home game stolen from them and since NY is the only NFL city with 16 home games each year they should never get it. That or you can make the Giants and the Jets be the two home teams in London EVERY year, since they have more home games than everyone else and keep the draft in NY but in April not May.

  52. Last year I bought goodies to eat to watch the draft. It was a mini get together with friends. This year, I could care less. They disrupted my schedule and the NBA is fitting in nicely. So there Roger.

    Also, all this draft talk is stale. They are lucky they have Manziel because he keeps the talk interesting. But even so, don’t care. Tomorrow I’m watching the Nets/Heat and Spurs/Trailblazers.

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