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Which cities have hosted the NFL Draft?

Las Vegas is the setting for the 2022 NFL Draft - the first time the city has staged an event that has been held in several locations since its inception eight decades ago.

Las Vegas is the setting for the 2022 NFL Draft - the first time the city has staged an event that has been held in several locations since its inception eight decades ago.
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Las Vegas will become the 11th US city to host the NFL Draft when the 2022 event takes place at the end of April.

Over a period of three days, the 32 franchises in the NFL will have the opportunity to boost their rosters by selecting players from the pool of new talent emerging from college football.

For the second straight year, the Jacksonville Jaguars will have the first overall pick, which is given to the team with the worst regular-season record in the previous campaign.

Two-thirds of all NFL Drafts have been held in New York

First held in Philadelphia in 1936, the NFL Draft has taken place every year since then: 2022 will be the 87th edition of the event.

In that time, New York has, by some distance, been the most frequent setting for the Draft. The city has hosted it 57 times - 44 more than Philadelphia, the next-most common venue.

After alternating between several cities for the first three decades of its existence - chiefly Philadelphia, Chicago and New York - the Draft settled in for a half-century run in the Big Apple between 1965 and 2014.

In all, some 18 different New York locations were the venue for the event. Most notably, the Theater at Madison Square Garden was chosen 10 times, between 1995 and 2004; the New York Marriott Marquis hotel was the host on nine occasions, from 1986 to 1994; and Radio City Music Hall also held the Draft nine times, between 2006 and 2014.

New York has hosted the NFL Draft 57 times.
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New York has hosted the NFL Draft 57 times.Anadolu AgencyGetty

Draft moved away from New York in 2015

Starting with the 2015 Draft, the NFL then opted to open the hosting rights up to a bidding process, with Chicago - the city that had been the stage for the previous non-New York Draft, in 1964 - submitting the winning bid.

Chicago again hosted in 2016, before Philadelphia staged the Draft for the 13th occasion in 2017. Dallas and Nashville were then awarded the event for the first time in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

In 2020, Las Vegas was due to host. Because of the covid-19 pandemic, however, the NFL was forced to organise a virtual Draft, and Nevada’s largest city was switched to 2022. Last year, Cleveland made its debut as the host of the Draft.

Kansas City has been awarded the hosting rights for its first Draft in 2023, while Detroit was announced as the 2024 venue in late March. The city has also never previously hosted the event.

The NFL Draft: every host city since 1936

CityDrafts hostedYears
New York571937, 1939, 1945-47, 1952, 1955, 1965-2014
Philadelphia131936, 1944, 1949-50, 1953-54, 1956-61, 2017
Chicago91938, 1942, 1943, 1951, 1962-64, 2015, 2016
Pittsburgh21948, 1949
Los Angeles11956
Washington, D.C.11941
No host12020

*Draft was held in more than one city in 1949 and 1956

2022 Draft in Las Vegas: Draft Theater, Draft Experience

The 2022 NFL Draft will take place from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 April on the famous Las Vegas Strip.

There, selected players will be paraded at the NFL Draft Theater, which will be located next to the Draft Experience - a fan zone described by the league as an “interactive football theme park”.

The Draft Experience will include football challenges, an autograph stage and a replica locker room. Entry will be free, but fans need to sign up to the event on the NFL’s official website.

The Draft Theater will also host free concerts at the end of each day.


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