KANSAS CITY, Mo. (NEXSTAR) – This week, Kansas City will become just the 12th city to host the NFL Draft in the event’s 88-year history.
Kansas City, home of the Super Bowl champion Chiefs, was declared the 2023 NFL Draft host site in 2019. But why?
Before it was formally selected, the city was among the finalists for the 2019 and 2020 drafts, according to the NFL – Nashville and Las Vegas were selected instead, respectively.
As with other hopeful host cities, Kansas City had to be pitched for the draft. It took three attempts for local leaders to convince NFL officials the city was a good venue for the event.
After the first failed bid, which would have brought the 2015 draft to the city, leaders learned they needed to have a more compact and accessible location. The addition of a street car line improved Kansas City’s chances, but not enough for it to land the 2019 draft.
Thanks to the construction of a convention center hotel in the downtown area, the city could guarantee more than 10,000 more hotel rooms near the potential venue.
These changes, according to officials, bolstered Kansas City into the top spot for the 2023 NFL Draft.
It isn’t just space and accessibility that are considered when selecting NFL Draft cities – the host city also has to pay. Though Kansas City officials wouldn’t say how much was being spent on hosting the draft, it’s easy to imagine how costly it can be.
Commitments the City of Green Bay recently agreed to in order to host a future NFL Draft shine a light on how much a city has to provide. According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, costs include those related to public works (like trash collection, street cleaning, and road closures), the deployment of local authorities and emergency services, and any necessary funds to “help offset any cost impacts on local businesses due to the proposed layout options in the bid and/or selected by the NFL.”
Despite the costs, Kansas City officials say the NFL Draft could bring as much as $200 million to the city.
The 2023 Draft will be held at Kansas City’s 110-year-old train station, Union Station, which has also hosted the Royals’ World Series parade in 2015 and two Super Bowl parades for the Chiefs. It is set to be the largest draft site in history, according to officials.