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Chicago Will Host The NFL Draft For Another Year

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Aug 11, 2015 6:05PM

It looks like Chicago gets to hold on to its title of Draft Town for another year, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday.

Chicago hosted the 2015 NFL draft, which was the first time the league had held it outside of New York in five decades. The draft itself was held in Roosevelt University's Auditorium Theatre while the league also set up a fan-focused "Draft Town" attraction across the street in Grant Park.

The 2016 draft will be held from April 28 through 30, and is expected to again take place in the 3,929-seat Auditorium Theatre. Expect Draft Town to return, due to its popularity last spring. Over 200,000 fans were estimated to have attended the free fan festival.

The 2015 Draft was an economic boon to the city, bringing in an estimated $44 million in direct revenue, according to a study conducting by the Sport Industry Research Center at Temple University. the study, commissioned by Choose Chicago, counted hotel revenue, dining, sales tax revenue and temporary jobs created by the 3-day event.

But don't expect the NFL-related cash infusion to become an annual event. With the league exploring a return to Los Angeles, there is much speculation that the Draft may head West in 2017.