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Report: NFL draft could leave New York City as early as 2015


The NFL Draft has been a marquee event in New York City for decades, but a recent report raises the possibility that one of the biggest football experiences in the country could be on the move.

Citing NFL sources, the New York Daily News reports that the league is considering alternative locations for the draft as early as 2015.

"If a decision is made that the NFL draft leaves New York, I'm sure it will be a competitive bidding process," a source told Daily News reporter Gary Myers. "It hasn't been discussed placing it in any particular cities. A half dozen cities have approached the league and said, 'When you're ready to move, we're ready to host it.' "

The paper notes that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II have already publicly made the case that their cities should be considered to host the draft.

One of the biggest issues the league has faced in recent years is simply scheduling the draft at Radio City Music Hall. The 2014 NFL Draft was pushed back into May for the first time due to a conflict, and it's possible the issue could accelerate the process in moving the event elsewhere.

"There is no question that New York provides a level of media exposure that would be hard to replicate elsewhere," a source told the Daily News. "At the same time, there is a question whether Radio City can remain a long-term host for the event because they are developing new shows and new things all the time."

The draft had bounced around various locations in Manhattan for years before moving into Radio City in 2006. Commissioner Roger Goodell recently remarked that making the draft four days instead of its current three is being considered and that would put even more pressure on whatever venue the NFL decides to use.

One key factor in any move would be logistics and price. The league receives a good deal at Radio City in part because of the media exposure the draft brings to the venue. The availability of hotel rooms and New York City's role as a transportation hub are also seen as key reasons why the draft has remained in the area for years.

Other possibilities include Los Angeles, home of NFL Network, and the various NFL cities around the country. Given the growing prominence of the NFL in London, an international destination probably should not be overlooked. The Daily News even suggests the league will explore holding the draft in three different cities over three different days.

Could the curtain close for the draft at Radio City Music Hall? Nothing is for certain, but the possibility is suddenly an intriguing idea for those wanting a fresh backdrop for the commissioner.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.



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