NFL Draft to be held in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WHTM) – The 2026 NFL Draft will be held in Pittsburgh, which is expected to bring thousands of visitors to Pennsylvania for the three-day event.

The draft will incorporate elements of Point State Park and Acrisure Stadium, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“The NFL Draft is one of the biggest, most-anticipated sporting events of the year, and we’re thrilled to partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers and VisitPITTSBURGH for our 2026 event,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We have a unique opportunity to spotlight this wonderful community on a global stage, benefiting Pittsburgh’s economy and entertaining football fans from all markets. We know this pride of Pennsylvania will shine bright in 2026.”

The announcement was made at the NFL Spring League Meeting in Nashville after Pittsburgh’s bid proposal was reviewed. This is the second time the NFL Draft has come to Pennsylvania after Philadelphia hosted the event in 2017 with an estimated attendance of 250,000.

“As Governor of Pennsylvania, I have been proud to make the case for Pittsburgh to host the NFL Draft, from my direct conversations with NFL leadership at last year’s Super Bowl, to our administration’s consistent work alongside the Steelers and our local partners over the past year to showcase Pittsburgh’s great strengths,” said Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro. “Today, Pittsburgh has established itself as one of the most dynamic cities in the country – and as the birthplace of professional football, it is the best choice to host the Draft. With all eyes on Pennsylvania during the nation’s 250th birthday, the Commonwealth is excited and ready to work together to host this historic Draft and show the country what Pennsylvania is all about.”

The NFL Draft draws over 50 million viewers from around the world. The three-day event is anticipated to bring representatives from all 32 NFL teams, top player prospects and thousands of fans to the city.

“Pittsburgh is honored to have been named the host city for the 2026 NFL Draft,” said Mayor Ed Gainey. “This once in a lifetime opportunity will allow us to showcase our city to an international audience, and it will give us a chance to say to our global fanbase, come on home to Pittsburgh. We are excited for everyone to see the transformation that has taken place, and to see Pittsburgh as more than the City of Champions, but a place where everyone is safe and welcome. A city where everyone has a chance to thrive, and where football erases the boundaries of our 90 neighborhoods, and we become one city, united, to cheer on our beloved Steelers.”

Pittsburgh will host multiple Draft activities throughout the event including a Concert Series presented by Bud Light and NFL Draft Experience – the ultimate NFL fan festival.

The Draft Experience is free and participants can interact with immersive exhibits and games, take photos with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, participate in the youth-centered Play 60 Zone, shop exclusive NFL merchandise and get autographs from former and current NFL players.

The NFL Draft is returning to its roots as the beginnings of the first NFL Draft, the first Player Selections Meeting, took place at the Fort Pitt Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh in 1936. The last time the NFL Draft was held in Pittsburgh was 1947.

“We are excited that the City of Pittsburgh has been selected to host the 2026 NFL Draft,” said Art Rooney II, Pittsburgh Steelers President. “This will be an amazing event that will highlight everything the region has to offer on a national and international level. We look forward to football fans from all across the country coming to enjoy our city’s culture while also showcasing our rich football history and tradition in the region.”

Since 2015, over 3 million fans have attended the Draft in person. The most recent 2024 Draft in Detroit had a record-breaking attendance of 775,000 fans who participated in in-person Draft activities.

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