SCHAUMBURG—The 2015 NFL Draft was held in Chicago and apparently the league was happy with the results because, the Windy City will host the draft in 2016 too. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made the announcement Tuesday during a joint press conference.New York had hosted the draft since 1965, with Radio City Music Hall serving as the venue from 2006-2014. The NFL and the Big Apple parted ways and the search for a new host city was underway. Like most things NFL-related, there was a huge demand. Last July, Goodell said 12 cities were interested, and the list was whittled down to Chicago and Los Angeles, with Chicago winning out.From the outset, the plan was to make the entire experience — not just the first round — an “event.”
“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,” Goodell said last summer. “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.”
Mission accomplished, and then some. CBSSports.com’s John Breech, who was in Chicago for the festivities, wrote that, “Turning the draft into a three-day festival might end up going down as the best decision the NFL has made since legalizing the forward pass.”
Which probably made it pretty easy to bring the draft back for one more year.