The NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell have been talking about moving the draft for a while, and now it sounds like it will actually happen next year. Goodell says the league has narrowed down next year's locations to Los Angelos and Chicago. The NFL has held the draft in NYC for the last 49 years, going back to 1965. Chicago hosted the draft for the 3 years prior to New York, and they are reportedly pushing hard to bring the event back to the Windy City.
"We’re focusing solely on Los Angeles and Chicago now," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday, speaking to reporters at the Beverly Hilton after participating on a CBS "Thursday Night Football" panel.
Goodell claims that 12 cities were interested in hosting next year's draft, but they chose to focus on three of them, New York City, Los Angelos, and Chicago. Now New York has been eliminated due to questions about the availability of dates in May. What does that tell us? The draft will continue to take place in May, and they don't need to use the excuse of a Broadway show that never happened anymore. The days of the late April draft are dead and gone, and the extra two weeks of mock drafts are here to stay!
Remember that big spring show at Radio City that bumped the draft back to May? Yeah. Cancelled. http://t.co/ft27VXTToG— Tom Rock (@TomRock_Newsday) March 23, 2014
Did Goodell talk about any of the other rumored changes to the draft format? Of course he did, and they are still looking at ways to maximize
the fan draft experience the league's profits and TV ratings. The idea to expand the draft from 3 days to 4 days is still being pushed out into the public consciousness.
The league is considering stretching the draft from three days to four, a concept that would test the creativity of the NFL considering the interest naturally wanes in the later rounds. Still, the TV numbers are staggering. For instance, the first round of this year's draft drew more viewers than the NBA playoffs (and attracted a larger audience than MLB's All-Star game.)
Still, keeping viewers tuned in for a fourth day would be a challenge, Goodell said.
"We're talking about different concepts, primarily how to strengthen the last day and whether we should maybe push that back to the clubs a little bit more and allow the clubs to have a little bit more freedom as more of a club day," he said. "Maybe they would announce the picks from there. We're looking at everything under the sun, because there's a great interest in it and we want to do something that's more responsive to our fans."
Goodell, along with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, were asked about expansion teams in L.A. and London:
"It still comes back to, 'Do we have the right solution in Los Angeles?' And that comes back to a stadium," Goodell said Thursday at The Beverly Hilton during a panel on Thursday Night Football. "Do we have a stadium that we feel can be competitive with the high-quality stadiums? I just came from San Francisco, from a ribbon-cutting for a new stadium (in Santa Clara) and we're excited about that and we're investing billions of dollars in creating those kinds of stadiums."
Said Goodell: "We would like to do that. We think there's a great opportunity to be successful (in Los Angeles). I think opportunity's starting to develop, maybe in part because we have that long-term planning in front of us."
On the potential of launching a franchise in London, Kraft wasn't shy about setting a tangible goal for expansion across the pond.
"I can see the kind of reception we got there," said Kraft of New England's visit to the United Kingdom in 2012. "... I would not be disappointed, and I would also believe that we should work hard to try and have a franchise in London before the decade was out."
7 days until Training Camp...