NFL is serious about moving draft out of New York


When the most recent flurry of reports and sound bites emerged regarding the league’s interest in relocating the draft from Manhattan, I thought the NFL was simply squeezing the cojones of the folks who run Radio City Music Hall.

Now, I’m not so sure.

It seems the NFL is serious about making the draft a much bigger event, in a significantly larger venue with the excitement that comes from a new set of fans getting to attend the festivities.  One possibility would be having the draft in a different city for each of the three (or perhaps four) days of the event, which would give it a natural freshness and energy each and every day.

Logistically, it would be inconvenient and expensive for the league to pull it off.  But the NFL also could generate significant new revenues by using a Super Bowl-style bidding process for the draft.

The league also could make more money by selling the rights to televise the first round of the draft to a broadcast network.  While that possibility never has been mentioned by the NFL or reported by those citing unnamed NFL sources, the push to May was about drawing a bigger audience during the sweeps period.  The audience can get even larger — and in turn result in more money for the league — if the event lands on ABC, CBS, FOX, or NBC.

Regardless of how it all plays out, it’s becoming more and more clear that the NFL is ready to fully capitalize on the draft, in every way that it can.

78 responses to “NFL is serious about moving draft out of New York

  1. Well they have to do something, it’s clear that there should be more ways to make more money as well as to improve the quality of the broadcast. They should strive to accomplish both.

  2. What a stupid idea to have each round in a different city – They would not do that.

    Can you imagine being in one city and not getting drafted and then having to go across country just because you expected to be drafted in a different round the next day? Thats insane.

  3. Unlike the Super Bowl, they could also put it in cities without a stadium. They could even send it overseas. Maybe have it at an army base in Germany.

  4. How about picking 4 or 5 major market cities from coast to coast and put it on a rotation? That way everyone can plan around it and more people will get the opportunity to attend. Not all sports action/news happens in New York…despite what we all watch on the major sports networks!

  5. It isn’t broke, so don’t fix it… there is something cool about it being at radio city music hall. What other venue in the United States would be better? I’m not a fan of New York, but its still New York, its the big time and these young men are about to be big time. I can’t understand this constant attack on traditions, leave the draft alone!

  6. this is one of those thing that the fans could generally care less. I don’t care where it is, just care about what player my team picks

  7. The moving it day by day idea seems pretty silly to me, like the entire building load of people (all the players invited, Goodell and the NFL reps and also every single one of the teams) would have to move each and every day. They have to sit around a hall for hours on end each day, adding a plane journey in between the days would be torture.

  8. The NFL is becoming a bad reality show. Sometimes change just for the sake of change is ignorant. I haven’t watched the draft since it became a three day affair. Eliminating extra points, eliminating kickoffs, having the Super Bowl overseas, four day draft, when will Goodell be happy?

  9. The thinking that the push back was about getting viewership in to a ratings period makes no sense.

    The 2014 May TV ratings book started on April 24th, which is the day the draft would have started had the schedule not changed.

    This is usually the case, so making this about shifting ratings is a pointless discussion.

  10. Host it in the Cities that “can’t” host a Super Bowl like Chicago, Green Bay, Buffalo, Denver, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Philly, Cincy, Cleveland. All very good Football Markets that get passed over come SB time.

  11. Definitely move it to different cities. Why should only the Jets and Giants fans get to attend every year? Give other fans a chance to attend without having to pay NYC prices.

  12. Mark Cuban was right. The NFL is going to keep overreaching until fans finally get sick of the overkill and overhype and start leaving.

  13. Moving the draft around to different cities would be fun for the fans of those cities. But moving a draft to different city for each round or day would be a logistics nightmare. In fact it would be unworkable. But sure, bring it out the the west coast. Or maybe even Vegas baby!

  14. The NHL has done this for years and it is a real hit. Every franchise that wants to has opportunity to bid for the right to host it and the fans of the home team get rowdy when their team makes a pick.

    Instead of just the Jets’ fans going nuts every year, that excitement could be greater in other areas of the country. Imagine how cool it would have been for the Dawg Pound to have been able to witness Johnny Manziel’s draft in person? The place would have erupted.

    All rounds in one location though–the different sites for different rounds is a logistical nightmare waiting to happen.

  15. Im all for moving it out of New York. Id never attend it, but man am I sick of hearing those damned Jets fans.

  16. Two ways this could go: One is semi-permanently relocate it to Los Angeles as a way to get civic leaders on board with financing a new stadium. The Nokia Theatre would be an ideal venue: 7K seats, large stage, adjacent to ESPN studios and easy access to television production equipment, plus generally great weather.

    The other is additional incentive for cities helping fund new stadiums. Previously the NFL only had the Super Bowl as an incentive. Would San Diego be more inclined to partially fund a stadium if the city could host 2 Super Bowls and 2-3 Drafts over a 10-year period? Yes.

  17. Goodell’s secret plan is to have the draft in London and then leave a whole team’s worth of rookies behind in order to start a new team there. In exchange for getting a draft ticket, players have to hand him their U.S. Passports (after he gets done with the obligatory bro-hug). After all, it’s what the fans want – just ask Goodell!

  18. There are a lot of people who hate change of any kind. A business must grow and change if it wants to remain successful. People have been predicting the downfall of the league even before they required the use of a leather helmet. The NFL keeps getting more popular and some of us continue saying how they are destroying the league. Moving the draft would bring a little more excitement to the event and potential host cities will battle each other to hold the event.

  19. Roger Goodell: “Fine, we’ll move it around different cities, but if you don’t sell out the arena then the draft will be blacked out.”

  20. The league also could make more money by selling the rights to televise the first round of the draft to a broadcast network. While that possibility never has been mentioned by the NFL or reported by those citing unnamed NFL sources, the push to May was about drawing a bigger audience during the sweeps period. The audience can get even larger — and in turn result in more money for the league — if the event lands on ABC, CBS, FOX, or NBC.

    The never ending greed of the NFL is going to be the ultimate nail in the coffin of the greatest sport there is.

  21. sounds like they are trying to make it like that damn american idol show…It’s the efn draft. Keep it in April. If you want to use all that money on moving it around, that’s your business.

  22. Have it in a city without a team, and have no fans there, have it about the players and the back ground stories. A great city would be Memphis, a lot to do, a boat ride on the river, visit Graceland. How about Louisville or Las Vegas. Bill

  23. It’s hard not to notice the level of obnoxious fan behavior at the draft. You can understand many people booing Roger Goodell, but when former players, many of them greats of the game and Hall Of Famers, come out to announce various picks and are practically booed off the stage, you have to wonder about the loss of civility, let alone respect, in our society these days…

  24. It dont matter what us fans think IDIOT Goodell is gonna do what he wants anyway!!! Day one is all that is worth while watching anyway both networks get way behind with picks & just horrible to watch after the first day!!!

  25. I think the only thing that makes sense is having each PICK take place in a different city. If they could streamline the process to get 2 picks/cities in per day, the entire draft could be finished in only 128 days. It could start the day after the Super Bowl in wrap up in early June. How is this not already happening??

  26. 1). Mark Cuban wishes the NBA was in a position to be like the NFL where its biggest problems were getting too big, having too much exposure or making too much money. Cuban should sit down and shut up.

    2). Why in the world would someone want to (or pay the NFL money) to host Day Three of the draft, when someone else got Day One?

    Move it from city to city each year, not each round.

  27. Bring more excitement? The draft got it’s highest ratings ever, still attended well live. So what would moving it change? Moving it to Detroit adds zero excitement. Oh the big day I dreamed of as a kid. Getting drafted on the big stage of Ohio. Crickets

  28. The NFL is going to slowly morph into what NASCAR has become, getting so big and changing the rules to make more people happy that it’s to the point no one gives two shivers about it anymore.

    Not sure you can oversaturate with this, other than adding games and making the season longer. Look how well that has seemed to work for every other major sport.

    Like I’ve said since GOD-ell took the reins….Rozelle has to be turning in his grave.

  29. As far as I’m concerned the NFL Draft is the best sporting event ,hands down,bar none all year. I hate the Thursday prime time ,second day,4p.m. (west coast) schedule. The tradition of having it in N.Y. is something I wouldn’t mess with. Is the NFL going to move to Hollywood ? L.A. doesn’t even have an NFL team. One of the things I do like is they shortened the time between picks of the first round. Bottom line : The NFL is making plenty of bank and doesn’t need any extra $$$’s. Every time the league messes with the DRAFT they might as well be trying to repaint the Mona Lisa. The NFL Draft is a master piece that shouldn’t be “improved” or altered just to make a few extra bucks.

  30. Move it back to April and then take it around the country. Every year a new city gets to host. Just about every NFL city has a venue large enough. Even Buffalo has the 20,000 person covered amphitheaters at CMAC and Darien, 20 mins away from downtown.

  31. Host it in “Cold” weather cities or smaller markets, so they can get part of the pie, too. Kansas City, Chicago, Buffalo, etc…Places where there is no way they would ever get a Superbowl.

  32. I don’t even watch anything beyond round one anymore… I’m not going to waste a Friday night watching rounds 2 and 3 of the draft.. Or half my Saturday watching even less relevant rounds. I used to sit and watch the entire first half of the draft on Saturday, and most of it on Sunday. Now, it just has too much of a reality show feel to it.

  33. Moving the draft around among league cities is a great idea- long overdue.

    Remember the reason the draft was two weeks later this year was because Radio City decided to book something else during the normal dates and pushed the NFL back.

    Adios NY.

    Lots of other cities and venues around the country that would love to host an NFL draft weekend- and would be willing to make space in their booking calendar.

  34. Definitely be like the NHL and move it from city to city every year. That, along with a central review facility for challenges, bring the NFL closer to being the NHL.

  35. Dont be a dream stealer. Keep it in NYV where these kids get to have fun before the biggest day of their current lives.

  36. Makes sense. Cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, & Boston, (you know, the ones with good football teams), can get rounds 1 & 2. Middling cities like New Orleans, Green Bay, and Chicago, can get rounds 3-4. And the bottom feeders can get rounds 5-7. Except for Buffalo & Cleveland. They’ll be vying for the UFA announcements.

  37. most of us watch it on TV. for me, I don’t care if they hold it at a secret site, I just don’t want to wait until some part of may for the draft. put it in April, and for all I care you can move the draft to London.

  38. I like the idea of putting it at the HoF in Canton, or a small town middle America spot, Green Bay, Kansas City, give me a place where the fans are going to go crazy for months because they are so stoked for the draft. guarantee EVERYONE would know about it and you would sell out every seat on day 3.

    instead of a half empty new York when the lesser fans aren’t interested

    but hey, I am one of those people who is mad they don’t read the picks all the way through all 7 rounds on TV. I want to see every pick and have every pick analyzed

  39. Are we going to start calling that picture Johnny Manziels money-shot?

  40. If we’re looking for a way to get the NFL more money, let’s go all the way with it. Move it further out – start on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, and hold 1 round per day, making it a week-long event! And hold it in the NFL stadium of the host city (and yes, black it out locally if it isn’t sold out)! And let’s give the teams 10 minutes between picks, so that each round lasts 6-10 hours, depending on how many compensatory picks there are! We need more bloviating by Kiper and Mayock! We need more jokes about Rich Eisen’s 40 time! We need many more hours of draft TV!


    Wait, I have a better idea. Hold it the last Saturday and Sunday in April. Two days only. Wherever you bloody well want to. Just do it in 2 days at the end of April, because we couldn’t care less about any of the other stuff.

  41. im an hour away from nyc, and who cares? i’ve never gone, nor will i ever. have it wherever, just put it back in april – this wait sucked and didn’t help anyone

  42. It is a room full of people sitting down and talking.

    You could hold it anywhere, and I still will not watch.

  43. Just make it so that whichever team wins the Super Bowl is the location to host all 7 rounds of the draft.

  44. I don’t care where/when it is. Who cares about 200+ guys the next time we hear about them is that they were cut sometime during training/preseason

  45. I have an idea: why not keep the draft in New York and just send Roger Goodell to three other cities for each of the three days of the draft. He won’t have to get booed and the ratings will improve. #winning

  46. Here’s one lifelong fan whose obsession took a hit this spring with the too long draft process. RG1 is killing the golden goose.

  47. I can honestly say that those 2 extra weeks we had to wait were the longest 2 weeks of my life. I don’t care where it is but move it back to April 25th-27th.

  48. Finally!!!
    I can’t stand those new york fans.
    Them and Gruden and Mayock all yapping and yelling…

    Just shut it already!

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