The NFL awarded the 2019 Draft to Nashville on Wednesday, disappointing the Denver Broncos and local fans who hoped to attend one of the league’s signature events.
“Following an exciting and successful event in Dallas, we’re thrilled to take the NFL draft to Nashville,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “The city has a passionate fan base and offers iconic locations that will enable us to expand the Draft in unique ways. We look forward to working with the Tennessee Titans, the City of Nashville, and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp to deliver a memorable celebration of football to our fans and incoming players.”
Denver was one of the five finalists for next April’s draft, along with Kansas City, Las Vegas and the Cleveland-Canton area. The league has recently chosen locations that are more or less self-contained, which may have been part of the decision to pass over the Mile High City. The Denver bid included holding the draft itself at the historic Red Rocks Amphitheater while holding other events downtown; a potential logistical problem that the NFL may have wanted to avoid.
In a statement, Broncos president/CEO Joe Ellis said: “It’s disappointing for us, but I do want to congratulate the city of Nashville. Even though we came up short, we’re proud of our bid and the hard work that went into our proposal. It showcased the attractiveness of our city along with the beauty of Red Rocks and the great football fans of this region. We believe there’s no better place for the NFL Draft than Denver. Alongside Visit Denver and the Denver Sports Commission, we’ll take a close look at the feedback we’ve received and do everything we can to make it happen soon.”
Denver is not a candidate to host the 2020 NFL Draft due to scheduling conflicts.