Beer Hour with KC Sports Commission's Kathy Nelson
The NFL Draft could be on its way to Kansas City.
The Chiefs announced Thursday that Kansas City is one of five finalist locations to host the draft in either 2019 or 2020.
The other finalists are Denver, Las Vegas, Nashville and Cleveland, which has a combined bid with Canton, Ohio, site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
The winning cities will be announced in May during the NFL’s spring meeting in Atlanta.
“We’re excited for what we learned today and anxious to hear the next steps,” said Kansas City Sports Commission president Kathy Nelson, who last November accompanied Chiefs president Mark Donovan and city manager Troy Schulte to New York to make a presentation to the league office. “With all the work that’s gone into this, we felt like we had a strong presentation.”
The Kansas City proposal includes a main staging area in front of Union Station, with the site sprinkling into Washington Square Park, Crown Center and the lawn of the National World War 1 Museum, Nelson said.
“Nothing has been finalized, but that’s what we represented in our presentation,” Nelson said. “I think the league was surprised that Kansas City really does have a footprint this would work well in.”
The NFL Draft was held in New York from 1965 to 2014 before moving to Chicago in 2015 and 2016 and Philadelphia in 2017. It will take place in Dallas this year.
The expectation is that two of the five finalists will be selected — one each in 2019 and 2020, Nelson said. Before that decision is made, members of the NFL office will visit each of the five cities.
“There’s a few things that we have going for us — how great the fans are in Kansas City and how well they support the Chiefs was a big deal to (the league),” Nelson said. “We’re still in competition with other cities, so I don’t want to give away our other ideas, but I think we really thought outside the box of what this would feel like in our community.”