Wednesday, May 28, 2014

NFL Draft in Boston? Where, why, and how?

By Zachary Baru

Imagine football-crazy Boston hosting one of the sport's most popular events.  No, not the big game, the big made-for-TV event: the NFL Draft.

According to a report earlier this month by the New York Post's Bart Hubboch, Boston was one of seven cities to apply to host the NFL Draft.  The other six cities include New Orleans, Philadelphia, Orlando, Chicago, Los Angeles and Canton, Ohio.

While some people may laugh at the possibility of the NFL moving the event out of New York, this year's draft was pushed back two weeks due to scheduling conflicts with the venue.  The city of New York has hosted the draft since 1965, and the 6,015-seat Radio City Music Hall has served as the host for the past nine years.  National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell has said that he does not want to give up on Radio City entirely, but what if the decision to move was made?  Would Boston be a suitable host?

If the concern is over venues, Boston has that covered.  Whether it is a large venue like the 17,565-seat TD Garden - which will begin a two-phase $70 million renovation this summer - or small venues like the 3,600-plus seat Wang Theatre, Boston has multiple options to host such an event.

Mass transit would certainly not be an issue in Boston between its subways and commuter rail, and Logan Airport's close proximity to downtown adds to Boston's claim as a candidate with potential.  Boston has no shortage of hotel rooms, perfect for the thousands of media members, and both league and team officials who will be attending the weekend-long event.

As the NFL continues to take applications for the draft, don't count out Boston as a potential host city for football's most popular non-sporting event.

Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at

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