It is official. The City of Nashville has been chosen to host the 2019 NFL Draft, which runs April 25-27 of next year.
Reports and talk of Nashville being the host city for the draft had been circulating for more than a week, but Commissioner Roger Goodell made the news official at the NFL owners meeting today in Atlanta.
“We’re going to select Nashville as host of 2019 draft,” the commissioner said in a news conference. “Congratulations to Amy (Adams Strunk) and the City of Nashville. Amy, you’re now on the clock. … We’re thrilled. We look forward to obviously being in Nashville.”
Adams Strunk, the Titans controlling owner, was excited for the city and the Titans organization to be able to host the draft. Nashville beat out other hopes such as Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Canton/Cleveland to host this year’s draft.
“I am so excited for the City of Nashville and so proud that we were selected to host 2019 Draft. It’s a big day for Nashville and I am so pleased.
“As we all know Nashville has a well-deserved reputation as a city that loves the big stage, loves a big party and more importantly knows how to throw a big party. We’re looking forward to April of next year.”
Nashville mayor David Briley also spoke of the city’s ability to put its best foot forward for big events.
“This is another great day for the City of Nashville,” the mayor said. “Nashville is the best place in the country for these types of events. We have the best venues, the best restauants .. and the best music.”
The city, the Titans and the league will have 11 months to coordinate the event. The pitch for Nashville was led by Butch Spyridon of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation along with the Nashville Sports Council.
As part of the package, Nashville was able to offer several of the venues in the city, including Nissan Stadium, the Music City Center, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Schermerhorn Center and the area of Lower Broadway, which was used to attract more than 20,000 fans to the Titans’ new uniform unveiling in April.
The NFL will head to town shortly to begin making plans and decisions on which venues to use and where to locate the events associated both with the draft and the fan experience that accompanies it.
“There have been many meetings already. A lot of planning has already gone in and the cooperation has already gone above and beyond everybody’s expectations,” Spyridon said.
Part of the city’s attraction no doubt was the atmosphere associated with the NHL Nashville Predators’ run to the Stanley Cup Finals last year that attracted large crowds to the downtown area.
Spyridon said in an afternoon press conference that it was Nashville’s many offerings that played a role in the city landing the draft, as well as the city’s support of numerous events.
“It wasn’t any one thing ,it was everything we do every day as a city,” Spyridon said.
It is also expected that Nashville would get some heavy hitters from the music industry involved in the draft event next year, much the way that Florida-Georgia Line performed a free concert at the uniform unveiling.