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NFL to Allow Teams to Bid on Hosting Scouting Combine Starting in 2023

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2021

Interior, overhead of Lucas Oil Stadium during an NFL preseason football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers in Indianapolis, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ MAST/Associated Press

The NFL Scouting Combine may not be in Indianapolis after 2022.

According to Mickey Shuey of the Indianapolis Business Journal, the league told all 32 teams on Wednesday that it will accept bids from cities looking to host the event from 2023 through 2028. While the NFL uses a similar practice for the Super Bowl and NFL draft, the combine has been in Indianapolis since 1987.

It seems as if the event is shifting away from Indianapolis, but the city will apparently put up a fight to keep it.

Chris Gahl, who is the vice president of Visit Indy, said the plan is to put together a "highly competitive, comprehensive bid" that would extend multiple years.

"As the event has grown, so has the city physically," he said. "This is an event that we have proudly hosted and helped grow along the way, and one we want to viciously protect keeping in Indy beyond 2022. In working with the Colts and local Combine team, Indy will put in another competitive bid to keep this annual event safe and sound in our city."

Shuey cited an estimate from local hospitality officials that suggested holding the combine in Indianapolis in 2019 provided an economic impact of $8.4 million.

Due to restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical portion of the combine was the only part to take place in Indianapolis this year.

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The event, which usually starts in late February, is a gathering of hundreds of the top prospects available for the upcoming NFL draft as well as scouts, coaches, front-office members and media. Players go through a variety of drills, interviews and medical evaluations as teams look for additional information as they search for their next franchise cornerstones.

The 2022 NFL draft is scheduled to take place in Las Vegas.

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