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Patriots' Robert Kraft: Boston interested in hosting NFL draft


If it hasn't been conveyed clearly enough, the 2015 NFL Draft is on the move.

It won't be at Radio City Music Hall next year, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported last week. It might not even be in New York City, as Los Angeles and Chicago are being strongly considered as hosts along with NYC.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Monday that another major city has thrown its hat in the ring, too, and also mentioned that it's possible the draft will have multiple host cities.

"That's a decision for Mayor Walsh who has called me and said that he is very interested in it," Kraft told CSN New England. "He has had his staff working with the NFL. We'd love to see it happen. It's about do we have the proper venue in the City of Boston, and what would it do for tourism and the so-called sizzle factor?

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"I know they're seriously considering [Los Angeles] and Chicago as geographically well-suited to do this, but I think now there's some consideration for maybe even splitting the draft into two parts and doing it in different cities and moving it around. It's all under exploration now."

While it has looked increasingly likely that the draft will leave the cozy confines of Manhattan, the possibility of it being split up into multiple cities is a rumor that has been floated in the past without much backing. Kraft, one of the more powerful owners in the league, saying it's under consideration by NFL officials certainly adds to its credibility, though.

The NFL has already sent out letters -- essentially requests for proposals -- to several cities asking for more information in three departments (availability on two blocks of dates in late April/early May, ability to host an NFL fan festival and hotel availability). The process is expected to move quickly, with a final decision likely coming later this summer, per Rapoport's report.

Boston has a number of venues that might be able to accommodate all that the NFL wants in a draft location, but it's unclear as to which ones the mayor is throwing his weight behind. While it would be interesting to see future college players learn their NFL destinations in a historically vibrant city like Boston, one should probably consider the possibility a bit of a long shot with New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago being the three front-runners.

So, while the 2015 NFL Draft might not stop in Beantown, a strong bid could impress owners enough that the city gets a look at hosting in the future.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.



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