The NFL pushed back the draft two weeks in 2014 due to a conflict at Radio City Music Hall in New York, but more changes could be on the horizon. According to Don Banks of Sports Illustrated, the NFL is now considering other changes to the draft including multiple cities in the same year or different NFL cities each year.
As part of the changes, teams would submit the picks electronically and the draft would shift even more to being a fan-focused event. Meanwhile, the NFL continues pursuing opportunities to expand the game to London because it believes the U.S. market is becoming saturated.
A strategy the NFL should consider is saturating markets that don’t have NFL teams by hosting the draft in those cities. The NFL can’t expect a market without a team to be fully saturated, so there could be considerable money to be made in those markets.
Of course, not just any city can host an event like the NFL draft. Any host city would need to have enough infrastructure to make such an event logistically feasible. Per Banks, the NFL envisions cities competing for the right to play host to the draft just like the Super Bowl, but on a smaller scale.
Why not open up the bidding to non-NFL cities with the proper facilities? If the NFL wants to truly saturate the U.S. market, hosting the draft in non-NFL cities may be the way to do it.