The NFL’s 100th anniversary season is 2019. Its 100th anniversary celebration, however, is 2020, and the NFL is serious about considering Canton as host for its annual draft then.
At least that’s the word from commissioner Roger Goodell, who told the Talk of Fame Network Friday that the league already is talking about putting the draft here — and, if not as the primary host, perhaps as part of an extended week that takes it to more than one site.
“I think as part of our 100th anniversary, it’s one of the things we’re evaluating,” he said. “The draft obviously has evolved a great deal and has changed a lot. The passion of this community for football … the birthplace of football … I think it’s something that we should look at.”
Asked if it was more than casual consideration, he nodded.
“I think the good news is that we have 24 different cities now bidding for this,” he said, “and when I say ‘bidding,’ it’s not bidding financially; it’s bidding for what stays with it, too. It’s how they’re presented. They saw Philadelphia, and a lot of people went back and said, ‘We’d like to do something different.’ I think people are starting to realize it can be bigger than you think.”
Goodell said the league typically makes decisions 8-9 months in advance, though the Hall already has started lobbying the league to move the draft here. Typically, Goodell is the individual who makes the final call, but, as he cautioned, “that may be changing, too.”
“Because there’s so much demand for it,” he said. “So we just might do it like the Super Bowl (where owners vote on it). Everyone recognizes the importance of this community in our history. Obviously, being the 100th year we’re going to be celebrating the history, as well as the future. I think at some element of it at least would be really interesting.”