ATLANTA – The NFL draft will be headed to Nashville in 2019, the league announced Wednesday at the annual spring meetings.
Other cities in the mix were Cleveland/Canton, Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas.
“The draft has become one of the most anticipated events of the year,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a news conference. “Congrats to [Titans owner] Amy [Adams Strunk] and Nashville. You’re now on the clock.”
Adams Strunk, who stood to the side on Goodell’s right, just smiled.
“Gladly,” Adams Strunk said.
The league wants to make the event a fun spectacle, and Nashville has long been mentioned as the leading contender for the 2019 draft due to its warm weather, central location in America (a relatively easy trip for fans from all over) and passionate fanbase.
Throw in plenty of event space downtown — with Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans, less than a mile away — and Nashville made a convincing case to the NFL about its ability to throw a party worthy of one of the league’s signature events.
The announcement comes much earlier than it has in past years. Arlington, Texas, which hosted the draft last month, wasn’t officially announced until last October, while Philadelphia, the host of the 2017 draft, wasn’t officially announced until the previous September.
The league’s decision to move the 2015 draft to Chicago marked the first time the event was held outside New York in more than 50 years. Chicago hosted it again in 2016, attendance and eyeballs on the event increased, and the league has continued to bid out the process since.
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