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Volume 24 No. 217
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Sports Business Awards: NFL Draft In Philly Takes Home Best Event

The '17 NFL Draft on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia represented a departure for the league, but the three-day festival with more than 250,000 people was a success, and the reward was the '18 Sports Business Award for Event of the Year. NFL Senior Dir of Event Operations Eric Finkelstein said, "We took the event to a new place by putting it on the road." Staged outside a theater or hotel environment for the first time, the NFL built the stage from scratch on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The success of Philadelphia also emboldened the NFL to keep the Draft moving to new locales, with Arlington, Texas, recently staging a great event and Nashville just landing the honor for '19. “The vision was to show we could travel and bring this event to the fans,” Finkelstein added. “Our efforts in Philadelphia validated all of that.”