After calling Chicago home for the last two years, the NFL draft will hit the road once again. The NFL announced on Thursday the event will head to Philadelphia for 2017.
The news doesn't come as a surprise. While reporting in May on the Dallas Cowboys' desire to host the 2018 draft, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Clarence E. Hill Jr. wrote the City of Brotherly Love was expected to win the race to secure the 2017 edition.
United States Rep. Bob Brady spilled the beans on July 8, per Wendy Ruderman of the Philadelphia Daily News:
The NFL wanted to come here, which is a good start. I talked with the mayor. The mayor had a concern about money because he didn't want to put the city in debt, rightfully so, so we had to go around and see if we could get some people that would help finance it, and I think we were kind of successful. We've been dealing with this for the past couple of weeks, maybe three weeks, and [Mayor Jim Kenney] just called me this afternoon and told me that we got the NFL, that the city is going to do it and he feels comfortable that the people who said they were going to help raise the money are going to do it.
On July 27, NJ Advance Media's Matt Lombardo reported the agreement was in place between Philadelphia and the NFL, with NFL Network scouting for potential broadcast sites in the city. He added the Democratic National Convention had impacted when and how the league would make the announcement.
This will be the 13th time the draft will take place in Philadelphia, per FootballGeography.com. The last time came before the AFL-NFL merger:
|NFL Draft History in Philadelphia|
|1957||Warwick Hotel/Bellevue-Stratford Hotel|
The timing of the NFL's decision to name Philly the host city is somewhat disappointing. As a result of the trade that landed them Carson Wentz, the Philadelphia Eagles sent their 2017 first-rounder to the Cleveland Browns.
Eagles fans have never been shy about making their voices heard on draft day. Most famously, they loudly booed the selection of Donovan McNabb in 1999. McNabb then went on to be one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history.
In another year, a draft in Philadelphia would be almost guaranteed to deliver a similar moment. But the Eagles' lack of a first-round draft pick takes away somewhat from the spectacle.
Fans will have to save their anger or elation for whomever the team selects in the second round.
The Cowboys likely have the inside track for 2018. The Dallas Morning News' Kate Hairopoulos wrote the team expects to hold marquee events at its new world headquarters in Frisco, Texas. Securing the draft would be part of that plan.
Hairopoulos also wrote that Los Angeles, Denver and Canton, Ohio, are among the other host candidates for the 2018 draft.