SBD/June 12, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Has Internal Focus Groups Exploring Potential Changes To Draft Presentation

NFL execs are using the scheduling issue as an impetus to study changes to the draft
The NFL has “tasked three internal study groups to consider options that include holding the three-day draft in three different NFL cities in the same year, or moving it around to a different NFL city each year, in an attempt to make it an even more accessible and fan-friendly event than it has become at Radio City,” according to sources cited by Don Banks of SI.com. The third study group within the league “was formed to consider other sites in New York if the league opts to not move its draft out of the nation's largest market, but can't continue to schedule the event for late April at Radio City due to" scheduling conflicts. The league is "using the impetus provided by the Radio City scheduling issue to study making some major and innovative changes to where and how its draft unfolds.” While the consideration of all options “has only just begun, the league is clearly intrigued with the idea of taking the draft on the road, if feasible, and could make further changes to how it conducts its wildly popular player lottery in order to broaden its appeal to fans.” If the “three-day, three-different-cities format should be adopted, the league would in all likelihood stop the decades-long practice of having officials from each of the NFL's 32 teams on site at the draft, sitting at tables equipped with helmet phones to relay the club's pick from their war room to the commissioner's podium on stage.” Logistical and cost issues related to taking the draft on the road “will likely determine much of league's decision-making in terms of site or format changes.” The NFL also can “envision cities competing for the right to play host to the draft, almost as a small-scale Super Bowl-like event” (SI.com, 6/11).
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