NFL Keeps Draft Site Options Open As Deal With Radio City Set To Expire in '15
The combination of "scheduling conflicts" with Radio City Music Hall and "other cities eager to host what has become a hugely popular event could result in New York losing” the NFL Draft as early as ’15, according to Gary Myers of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. The draft moved to Radio City in ’06, but the NFL’s deal with the venue "is for this year only with options for the future.” A league source said, “If a decision is made that the NFL draft leaves New York, I’m sure it will be a competitive bidding process. It hasn’t been discussed placing it in any particular cities. Around six cities have approached the league and said, ‘When you’re ready to move, we’re ready to host it.’” Myers notes if the NFL “opens it up to bidding, there will be a long line” at Commissioner Roger Goodell’s door. One plan being considered is “holding each of the three days of the draft in three different cities,” but whoever gets the third day is “going to feel cheated.” The NFL “pushed back this year’s draft two weeks until May 8-10 because Radio City had scheduled a spring show that conflicted with the league’s plan to hold it as usual the last week of April,” and the league “has been told Radio City is developing a show for next year.” The NFL “loves the camera appeal that Radio City provides for the NFL Network and ESPN.” Radio City, with 4,000 seats, is “considered the only viable venue in Manhattan to handle the draft” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/1).