The NFL announced that they are going to move the NFL Draft out of the Radio City Hall in New York City, and are looking to move it to another city. Today they announced that seven different cities applied to host next years draft. These cities included Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Boston, Orlando and Canton, Ohio. While the NFL will probably move it to a big market like Los Angeles or Chicago, it should happen in Canton, Ohio.
Canton has very strong ties with the NFL and football history in general. Professional footballs roots started in Ohio with the “Ohio Valley” football league with teams in Akron, Canton, and Massillon. The Professional Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton and their biggest income revenue is during the Enshrinement week. Another event, like the Draft, would help the city out more and also help the NFL out in return.
The NFL Draft would bring more tourists into the Hall of Fame as they attend the Draft. With more people visiting the Hall of Fame, they will spend more money at the gift shop, which supplies items made by the NFL. It would also rejuvenate the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival with advertisements during the draft and around the draft rooms. It would help promote Canton for people to come visit other than just once a year. If the league was willing to work with Canton, Canton would do anything for the league.
The draft could happen at a multiple of places in Canton. Of course, the first option would be trying to have it somewhere at the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame opened there new wing up that was built with $2.1 million given by the NFL. This could be an opportunity for the league to have another cooperation with the hall and strengthen their ties for the Hall of Fame Festival.
Another possibility would be the Canton Civic Center. The Civic Center is used as the home court of the Canton Charge and used for other larger events. The Civic Center has been used for different events for the Enshrinement in the past such as the Enshrinement dinner, HOF Fashion Show, and the Players Brunch. The layout has been used for big events such as the WWE, concerts, hockey, and even indoor soccer.
The last, and my most favorite, would be at the Palace Theater. The theater has a great atmosphere, a huge stage, 1500 seats, and is already set up to use for an event like this. The theater is an old movie theater (still shows movies every so often), but has been used for events such as ballets, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Queen’s Pageant, and concerts. The ceiling features an open sky with moving clouds, stars, comets, and the moon. The downfall would be there isn’t much room for all 32 draft rooms, which would mean they would have to be at a different location (like the HOF or Civic Center).
More than likely, the league will choose one of the larger cities that applied because of money. Los Angeles has more to offer both for tourists and economically to the NFL than Canton. Canton can offer a great football experience for fans but some would rather prefer the big city. At what point does the NFL start making choices based on the game and not the money?