The NFL draft is staying at Radio City Music Hall in 2014, sometime in May. After that, all bets are off.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell indicated Tuesday that the league is taking a harder look at moving out of the venue after 2014, and possibly out of New York entirely.
"If we want to move the draft back into the April period, we're going to have to look at other alternatives. Other cities, other venues," Goodell said at the NFL Spring Meeting.
Goodell confirmed the draft will be moved back to May because of a scheduling conflict; it could May 8-10 or May 15-17. Radio City Music Hall now is planning a spring show that could conflict with the draft's timing for years to come. Goodell said he wouldn't expect to revisit New York locations the league has used in the past.
"We haven't found the location in New York that meets our requirements and where we think we can continue to grow the event," Goodell said. "If we do, that will be one of the alternatives. I think one of the things we have to do at some point is start looking at other cities."
I love the draft in New York. It just makes sense. But economic realities -- and some wayward Rockettes -- matter a lot more.
Here's what else we learned at Goodell's press briefing in Boston:
- The focus at the NFL Spring Meeting was clear: It was on the stadiums. We knew Super Bowl L and LI were awarded to San Francisco and Houston, respectively, in large part because of their new stadiums, but the conversation went beyond that.
"We spent a great deal of time on the stadium experience," Goodell told reporters Tuesday.
The league also approved a multiyear agreement with Microsoft in an effort to enhance the game for teams and fans. The league approved the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium, and renovations for the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers' homes. Goodell wants to "solve the wi-fi" problem around the league.
Stadiums that are not state of the art, like Miami's Sun Life Stadium, are being left behind.
"I did have a few owners who expressed to me privately that the condition of the stadium was an important factor," Goodell said in reference to South Florida's failed Super Bowl bids.
- The NFL sees "great benefits" in moving the NFL Scouting Combine to later and potentially could move the start of the league year. Goodell said the league currently is in negotiations with the NFL Players Association about the issue. Goodell confirmed it's fair to say only the starting date of the league year has to be negotiated with the union.
- Goodell said there will be continuing discussions on expanding the NFL playoffs, but those talks didn't take place this week.