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Radio City Music Hall out as NFL draft host; where will draft's new home be?

Holding the NFL draft at New York's famous Radio City Music Hall the past few years gave the impression that the draft was a much bigger deal than it actually is, and in turn the event has grown in popularity, reaching an all-time high this year.

Having the draft somewhere other than Radio City Music Hall likely won't impede the growth of the event, but the NFL is going to find out.

Radio City Music Hall won't host the 2015 draft, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said. The venue isn't available in April or May, and thank goodness that didn't give commissioner Roger Goodell the idea to have the draft in June. The NFL has held the draft at Radio City since 2006.

New York City is still in play to host the draft, which it has done every year since 1965, but there is competition for the event. Rapoport said New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are the focus, and letters were sent from the league office to all three cities asking for further details about hosting. League spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed those three cities are the focus but other cities "remain in the mix."

Now, this story seemingly should not matter to 99 percent of people. Unless you're planning to attend the draft, the league could say it's in the heart of Manhattan while broadcasting from some random arena in Kansas, and would anyone know the difference? Or care? Does it add to the suspense for the television viewer knowing teams are scribbling names on index cards in a big market rather than some small town? But it's the NFL, it's the NFL draft, and even something like where the draft is held is becoming a big deal.

The bigger deal for those 99 percent of fans is that it appears the league is going forward with its plan to extend the draft to four days. The league expanded the draft to three days in 2010, and according to Rapoport, the dates being looked at are April 22-25 or April 29-May 2 ... Wednesday through Saturday. The long-rumored four-day draft is a pretty terrible idea, considering it should take two at most, but if there's a profit to be made, Goodell is going to try to grab it.

So the draft will be longer than ever, and in a new home. And no matter what happens with those logistics, fans will watch in staggering numbers.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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