Nashville has been picked to host next year's NFL draft, which will take place April 25th to the 27th.
The decision was announced Wednesday morning after much speculation. The NFL Draft is one of the biggest events surrounding the NFL, and it means big business and big exposure for the host city.
“Nashville is a place where over the decades, lots of people have seen their dreams come true, and just in this coming year, more than 200 NFL draft picks will see that take place for them as well," Nashville mayor David Briley said. "The NFL sees that Nashville is really the best place in the country for this kind of event. We have the right venues, right hotels, we have the right restaurants, the best music, and the one and only Lower Broad.”
Those with the city said numerous venues and locations could be used for draft-related activities. Ascend Amphitheater and Music City Center could host official viewing parties, the Symphony Hall could house the war rooms for the NFL teams making their picks, Nissan Stadium could provide a fan experience, and Broadway will no doubt be tapped to host numerous events, concerts, and parties.
“How big is the NFL Draft?" Stuart Spears, senior vice president of the Tennessee Titans questioned. "In Dallas last month, the draft drew over 400,000 fans to draft and draft related events. Over 2,000 media credentials were issued for the event, and nearly 46 million people watched all or part of the draft on broadcast and cable networks.”
While the draft itself is a huge draw for football fans from around the world, there will also be people in town for the St. Jude Rock N Roll Marathon, which takes place that weekend. It's also possible that the Predators will be in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs during that time, meaning Nashville will be one of the busiest places in the United States.
“Nashville has never hosted an event like the 2019 NFL Draft, this is a milestone for this city for which it should be very proud," Spears said.
An estimated $3 million will be spent on the draft, but officials said none of those funds will come out of the city's general fund.
Davidson County currently has 29,000 hotel rooms, and while the demand will be high for hotel rooms during such a busy weekend, officials are confident that enough will be available, especially with 2,000 more rooms expected to be available in newly opened hotels by April of 2019.
Nashville has already shown it can handle multiple events at the same time. Getting the draft could also be a big boost for the Tennessee Titans, who are already on an upward swing.
ESPN's NFL insider Adam Schefter tweeted Tuesday that Music City was expected to be the host city, saying the decision would be released during the league owners' meeting in Atlanta.
Nashville Convention and Visitor's CEO Butch Spyridon has been pitching the NFL since 2011.
Eddie George, Tim McGraw, and Kirk Herbstreit have all signed on to be on the host committee.