After holding the annual NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City every year for several decades, the league decided to open up the draft to a bidding process a few years ago. Much like the Super Bowl, the draft is now a premier event that has metropolitan areas lining up to be the host city for the three-day event in the spring.
The 2018 draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, following its first three years on the road in Philadelphia (2017) and Chicago (2015 and 2016).
The Green Bay Packers and the city of Green Bay have made no secret of the fact that they would like to host an NFL Draft sometime in the future. Team president Mark Murphy confirmed to Packers shareholders in 2016 that the city has applied to host the draft in 2019, 2020, and 2021, partially in conjunction with the new Titletown District developments. However, the Packers will have to wait at least two more years to do so.
On Thursday, the NFL announced the finalist cities for the next two drafts in 2019 and 2020, and Green Bay is not on the list. The five cities are:
- Cleveland/Canton, Ohio
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Denver, Colorado
- Las Vegas, Nevada
The joint Canton/Cleveland bid is intriguing because of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s location, while Las Vegas seems more likely to be a candidate in 2020 since that is when the Oakland Raiders are scheduled to move to town.
Look for the Packers to be back in the mix for 2021, however, and to bid on future drafts. It is probably only a matter of time before the event comes to Lambeau Field and the surrounding areas, but that time will have to wait a bit.