Dunlap: NFL Draft Venue Got Me Back Into It

Colin Dunlap
April 29, 2019 - 2:18 pm

© Courtney Pedroza/The Tennessean

Related: NFL Draft Draws Record Numbers In Nashville And On TV

I don’t know about you, but the National Football League Draft this past weekend in Nashville did something for me --- it Made The Draft Great Again. 

Sure did. 

The pageantry. 

The spectacle. 

The pomp and, yes, all the circumstance. 

Every single moment of it. The NFL Draft live from the bar-flanked Lower Broadway district in Nashville had me 100 percent riveted. The picks were just part of it, to be sure. 

If the NFL gets anything right, what rises to the very top of the list is that they aren’t just a sport but that the league is an entertainment venture. It is a place (and the old, crusty types can whine all they want) people turn to in order to be entertained by the happenings off the field seemingly just as much as the Sunday games on it. 

Nothing screamed to that more than the red carpet event plopped right down in the middle of a Downtown area this past weekend. It was also a nice touch (even if Jim Brown didn’t know what year it was) having all those former players and otherwise notable people announce the picks. 

Man, did the NFL get it right or what? 

And you know where the Draft is scheduled for next season … Las Vegas. 

I love America.

It will be bigger, bolder, flashier, gaudier and probably about a 50 million times larger show. Know what? I can’t wait for it. The event has a chance to rival the Oscars and certainly beat the heck out of something such as the ESPY Awards. 

But what just happened in Nashville and what is sure to happen in Vegas next year got me thinking --- the NFL has a big decision here. The league hasn’t made its intentions known about the venue of the 2021 Draft and beyond. 

Will they take it back to New York City? 

Was Nashville such a hit that it could become a regular home and they could go back there?

Could Vegas blow everyone away and potentially get back-to-back drafts?

Or, could the potential exist that we see a bit of a traveling show with the Draft? That is to say it makes its way across the country to cities such as Pittsburgh and Cleveland and Dallas and Miami and Seattle and the such? Could the bidding process potentially open up to those places and the NFL take them seriously and decide to take the road show somewhere like here? 

It’s all very intriguing to me. It really is. Normally I catch a bit of the NFL Draft and sort of flip through the channels. But this past weekend, because of the circus that Nashville provided, I watched more than I ever have. I also felt like I was back interested in it more than I ever have been. 

The NFL should now see it has another fan-friendly, live event to hold in a city that can raise the league’s profile even higher. It has a big, big decision to make as to where to go after Vegas. 

I never thought I would say I would be interested in where the Draft will be held, but I have to be honest: I’m now very much interested in where the Draft will be held.  ​

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