The NFL just awarded its 2019 Draft to Nashville, and the jockeying for the next one has already begun.
A joint bid between Cleveland and Canton, Ohio was considered this year, but the timing is probably better next season anyway.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is gearing up for a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the sport in 2020, and hosting at the shrine of the game’s history will add a layer of interest to an event which has transcended the reading off of names.
Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker congratulated the Nashville bid, but made it clear what he was hoping for.
“The Hall of Fame in partnership with the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Sports Commission and Visit Canton stand ready to host the NFL Draft in 2020 should we be selected,” Baker said. “In the meantime, the Hall and the entire Canton region remains focused on preparing for the once-in-every-other-lifetime opportunity in 2020 to celebrate the NFL’s Centennial in Canton, the birthplace of the league.”
The historical angle makes this seem like one of those confluences which makes too much sense not to happen, though other cities have been eager to get in the mix, as the league turns the selection meeting into another marketing opportunity. Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas were mentioned as finalists for one of the next two drafts, but none of those places happens to be the birthplace of professional football.