It Looks Like the NFL Draft Will Be in Philly Next Year

Several reports say the NFL is just waiting to announce that the 2017 NFL Draft will be held in the city. It would be here for the first time since 1961.

The NFL draft logo side by side with the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Benjamin Franklin Parkway photo by Spike Brennan (license)

Per several reports, it seems like the NFL Draft will be in Philadelphia in 2017.

In early July, Wendy Ruderman quoted Bob Brady saying it was a done deal to hold the draft at a temporary stage and arena on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said the city hadn’t signed anything, but Brady was insistent: “We are going to showcase the city for the whole country again, and we’ll have thousands of visitors coming in here and all the players, all the sports teams, and all the coaches and managers will all be around. It will be great.”

Today, Matt Lombardo reports the NFL is “set” to announce Philly as the host of the 2017 draft sometime early next month (specifically, either August 2nd or August 8th).

“Nothing has been finalized,” Mayor Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt told Philadelphia magazine, “but it would definitely be an exciting opportunity for the city.”

The draft, which moved around throughout the NFL’s early history, was most recently held in Chicago, after a 50-year run in New York City ended in 2014. The draft was in Philadelphia in 1936 and 1944 and between 1949 and 1961. The Bellevue-Stratford Hotel and the Warwick Hotel have been the two most common hosts in Philly.

In recent years, the NFL Draft has been held over three days: The first round is on Thursday night, the second and third rounds on Friday, and the fourth through seventh rounds on Saturday. The NFL said in April Philadelphia was one of the cities bidding to host the event.

Apart from the closure of the Parkway, the NFL Draft will almost certainly be much lower-key than the Democratic National Convention and the papal visit. But maybe there will be protest zones for people who don’t like how the NFL has handled concussions! The possibilities are limitless.

The Eagles, of course, do not have a first-round pick next season. They traded their first-rounder next season in the deal that got them the number-two overall pick. The Eagles took supposed quarterback-of-the-future Carson Wentz.

It’s not a total loss. Since the Eagles don’t have a pick, fans can concentrate on booing the picks of the Dallas Cowboys instead.