The location of the NFL draft, one would assume, doesn't matter to most casual fans.
Not many people travel to New York for the draft. The sight of Roger Goodell bro-hugging some massive defensive tackle on stage would pretty much look the same on your TV if it was at Radio City Music Hall or Disneyland.
But for the league, angry Jets fans and the history of the sports' biggest offseason event, moving the draft would be a major change. And Pittsburgh is publicly volunteering to host.
Steelers president Art Rooney II told the team's website that he would like to see the draft go to other venues, including Pittsburgh.
“Sure, I’d like to see the draft move around (to other cities), and I would love to see it come to Pittsburgh some time,” Rooney said. “It’s a great event and attracts tremendous fan interest. It would be a fun event for Pittsburgh to host, and I think our city could do a great job with it.”
The draft will be in New York next year (and it will be moved back to early May in 2014), but Goodell has previously said the league would consider other venues in the future.
People might not travel to attend the draft in New York, but might go if it was in their home city. That would grow the event even more – although it's fair to wonder how much more interest there could possibly be in the already-huge NFL draft. Assuming venues are found that can handle the event, for almost all fans at home the event would be practically the same. There aren't any obvious and major negatives to moving it to other NFL cities.
There's no better test city than NFL-crazy Pittsburgh. If the draft can make it there, perhaps it can make it anywhere.
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