NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. AP Photo.
The National Football League will return to Chicago for the 2016 NFL Draft slated for April 28-30, Commissioner ROGER GOODELL and Mayor RAHM EMANUEL announced today.
The 2015 NFL Draft was held in Chicago, the first time the event was located outside of New York City in more than 50 years. More than 200,000 fans from across the country participated in the 2015 Draft festivities in Chicago, including the highly popular Draft Town, a free, three-day outdoor interactive fan football festival in Grant Park.
The Draft generated a total economic impact of $81.6 million, according to a Sport Industry Research Center at Temple University study commissioned by the Chicago Sports Commission. Half of the attendees were from outside Chicago and generated 31,000 hotel nights; Another 5,600 hotel nights came from NFL staff, sponsors and media.
The NFL will work closely again with the Bears, Mayor Emanuel and the City of Chicago, Choose Chicago, the Chicago Sports Commission and the Chicago Park District on week-long Draft events, including an expanded Draft Town and additional youth clinics and community programs.
"We are excited to return to Chicago and look forward to creating an even better experience for our fans next year," said Commissioner Goodell. "Based on the success of last year's Draft and our high expectations for the 2016 Draft, Chicago continues to raise the bar for future Drafts."
"Chicago is thrilled to welcome the 2016 NFL Draft back to America's heartland," said Mayor Emanuel. "Our world class city will once again be transformed into Draft Town where NFL fans and players will gather as NFL teams make selections. As always, we look forward to working with the Chicago Bears, the NFL, and our neighborhood partners in making this an event that puts our world class city in the spotlight, while reinvesting in communities across the city."
While locked in for the 2016 Draft, the NFL will develop a selection process for determining locations of future Drafts. Chicago will be among the cities under consideration to host future Drafts.