(CBS) Chicago is a finalist to host the 2015 NFL Draft, which won’t return to Radio City Music Hall in New York City, according to an NFL.com report.
Chicago is in the running along with Los Angeles and New York, which could host the draft in a different location. Officials from Radio City Music Hall have informed the league office that their facility won’t be available to host the draft next April or May.
The NFL has asked officials from all three cities to propose more details on hosting the draft, which NFL.com reported is expected to be held April 22-25 or April 29-May 2. That would mark a change too, as the NFL could lengthen the draft into a four-day event as soon as next year, according to the report.
The NFL Draft is currently a three-day event, starting on Thursday night with the first round.
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Some of the other factors that will determine the location of the event include the ability to host a fan festival in an adjacent indoor or outdoor space and hotel availability, the source told (Ian) Rapoport. The source said the NFL has asked that all three finalists submit their plans by mid-June for review at the end of that month — league officials will likely visit each potential site and discuss various logistical concerns before making a decision on the city and venue of the 2015 draft later this summer.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has previously expressed his desire to bring the NFL Draft to the Windy City.
“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 in May, speaking generally. “It’s a major economic engine for the city of Chicago, and I’m going to go seek business everywhere we can.”
McCormick Place and the Chicago Theater have been floated as possible venues in Chicago to host the draft, which has been held in New York City every year since 1965 and has been held at Radio City Music Hall since 2006.