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Art Rooney II Would Like to See Pittsburgh Play Host to the NFL Draft

June 20th, 2013 at 10:51 PM
By Mark Mihalko

Wednesday in an interview posted on the official Pittsburgh Steelers website, owner Art Rooney II mentioned that he would like to see Pittsburgh host the NFL Draft at some point. This is one of the best ideas out there and one the NFL should potentially investigate.

'Navy, Marines present jersey to NFL commissioner, 75th NFL Draft' photo (c) 2010, MarineCorps NewYork - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
With a scheduling conflict at the current location, Radio City Music Hall, the draft will be moved from April to May in 2014. While this may seem like a minor move, it could be extremely disruptive to coaches and general managers, who prefer a strict schedule to change.

The NFL is a mega-business, and the draft is one of their offseason cash cows. However, there is no bylaw anchoring it in New York City. In fact, now that they changed the format to a three-day, made-for-television event, it could be advantageous to move the draft around, allowing fans who cannot make their way to the Big Apple an opportunity to experience an amazing event. Having covered the draft when it was at Madison Square Garden, and watching the Steelers draft quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in person is a happening that a fan would never forget.

Of course, it may be a difficult decision for the league to move the draft, as they are headquartered in New York and it is a financial windfall for both the city and league having the event in their home city. Yet, a change of venue could actually expand the brand even further, by exposing rabid localized fans to a true NFL event.

For commissioner Roger Goodell, this could be a tough call, but, one that he should agree with if he is truly interested in taking the NFL to new heights. However, looking at his  track record, London is more likely to host the draft in the near future than Dallas, Green Bay or Pittsburgh.

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Tags: Art Rooney II, Ben Roethlisberger, Football, NFL, NFL Draft, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers

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