Kansas City officially wants the NFL Draft.
The Chiefs, Kansas City Sports Commission and Visit KC have submitted an “expression of interest” in holding the event that occurs in April.
The bid years are 2019-2023.
“Any time we can bring a national event to Kansas City, that’s something we want to do,” said Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt. “Whether it’s a college football game at Arrowhead or the NFL Draft, which has become one of the biggest properties on TV and a very coveted event for cities across the country.”
Kansas City’s bid includes three options for sites: Union Station, the World War I Museum and Kauffman Center would be combined for one option; Sprint Center and the Power & Light District for another; and the Truman Sports Complex as the third.
The NFL Draft had been anchored in New York from 1965-2014 before moving to Chicago in 2015 and 2016. Last year, the draft took place in Philadelphia, outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the steps where a seminal scene from the movie “Rocky” was filmed.
The first round drew an estimated 100,000 fans, and the three-day total was about 250,000 according to the NFL with about half coming from outside Philadelphia. There is no cost to attend the draft or surrounding events.
“We’re so glad the NFL made the decision to move the draft out of New York and rotate it,” Hunt said.
The NFL also has kicked around the idea of multiple locations for the Draft. The first round could be held in one city and the next two rounds at another.
“That really gives us a great opportunity, and some (options) we’re very focused on,” Hunt said. “It’s something we’re very focused on and (something I am) personally going to push the commissioner (Roger Goodell) on to make happen in Kansas City.
“Hopefully in the next three, four or five years, we’ll get it.”
KC Sports Commission president Kathy Nelson attended the drafts in Chicago and Philadelphia and was convinced it would thrive in Kansas City.
“There’s an economic impact having a hundred thousand people come here, spend here,” Nelson said. “Plus, there’s the spotlight on Kansas City. You can’t buy that type of advertising.”