CHICAGO (CBS) — As the NFL Draft begins Thursday evening in New York, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is hoping to bring the three-day spectacle to Chicago as soon as next year.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Emanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have aggressively pitched their cities as future hosts of the NFL Draft.
Emanuel said it’s part of his efforts to boost tourism and convention business.
“You know my goal: 55 million visitors and tourists to the city of Chicago, moving the city of Chicago from fifth place to second place in the convention industry,” emanuel said. “It’s a major economic engine for the city of Chicago, and I’m going to go seek business everywhere we can.”
The mayor noted the city recently lured Automechanika, the world’s leading trade show for the automotive products and services industry, for a convention at McCormick Place in April 2015.
Automechanika previously has been held in Europe, Asia and South America, but the Chicago show next year will be its first time in North America.
He said that auto mechanics’ convention will bring people and money to the city, and the NFL Draft can do the same, so he’s trying to persuade the league to consider Chicago as host.