As the draft has shifted from a New York-only experience to a traveling roadshow, one dynamic hasn’t changed: By the third day, the thrill is gone.
This year in Dallas, it has happened again. Shots from inside AT&T Stadium show a very sparse (to put it kindly) collection of fans in the stands. And while a moderate number of fans are still present on the floor of the venue, both NFL Network and ESPN have shifted their main desks outside the building, possibly due to the noticeable difference in size and energy. The crowds are also sparse in the shots behind the NFLN and ESPN desks, with a small fraction of the numbers who were present two days ago. (MDS has posted visual evidence as to all three observations.)
It’s not a surprise. For as big of a deal as Thursday night has become, Saturday is still a snooze-fest, no matter how many times the NFL or ESPN reminds us that Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick. Even though starters, Pro Bowlers, and maybe even a Hall of Famer will be drafted today, the interest isn’t there, hasn’t been there, never will be there.
That’s why the NFL should consider splitting the hosting of the draft between two cities, with one handling the first two nights and a new city getting the third day.