Will the NFL Draft Leave New York City?

Could the draft really leave New York?

May 20, 2014 at 7:37AM


Blame Chet Simmons.

After all, if Simmons, then president of an upstart cable television network named ESPN, hadn't persuaded NFL chief Pete Rozelle in 1980 that the professional football league's HR summit would make for interesting television, we would not be faced with the annual, over-the-top nightmare that is the modern NFL draft.

Thanks, Chet. Thanks a lot.

He was right, though. The draft has become a television ratings juggernaut, drawing a total viewership of 32 million first-round viewers earlier this month to rank as the most-watched program on cable on its first night. That figure is up 28% since 2013, making this year's the most-watched first round ever.

And it's not just about TV anymore. The NFL's digital media platforms reported over 14 million visits during draft week, which began on May 8, up 54% from 2013, with 9 million of those coming during Thursday's round-one coverage. More than 7 million tweets circulated about the event.

Hometown hit

For New York City, which has hosted the draft since 1965, the event has become an annual ritual, an excuse to invite thousands of football fans to the city for several offseason days to eat, drink, and spend money like it's already Countdown to Kickoff. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's proposal to expand the draft to four days – adding to the already 50-plus hours of live coverage -- would theoretically only increase the spending, and the prestige, of the event.

That's why there are currently seven cities lobbying the NFL to host the draft once the league's contract with Radio City Music Hall expires after next year, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Boston, Philadelphia, Orlando, and Canton, Ohio, home of the NFL Hall of Fame.

"We're looking at how we can continue to make the draft bigger and better, more successful, more popular" Goodell told the Associated Press in April about the proposal to move the annual draft. "That includes maybe staying at Radio City or maybe even taking the draft on the road. We're looking at other changes that we think could be pretty exciting."

Whatever happens, it wouldn't be the first time that a city other than New York has hosted the NFL draft. The first organized draft was held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia in 1936, and the event bounced around between Chicago, Milwaukee, Washington, DC, and other cities before settling in the Big Apple. In terms of facilities, the Theatre at Madison Square Garden has hosted the most drafts overall with 10, though it hasn't hosted the event since 2004.

Draft as destination?

Not everyone supports Goodell's take on the "traveling draft" plan, however.

Dr. Patrick Rishe, an economics professor at Webster University in St. Louis and the founder of sports analysis firm Sportsimpacts, says that although the NFL draft has evolved into great theater and great TV for ESPN, he isn't convinced that it has much of an economic impact on the host city.

"Economic impact arises when you have visitors coming to a region and spending money in that region," he says. "That's new money; it's new dollars."

The problem for the NFL draft, he explains, is that although the stands are full of fans from all over the country, easily identifiable in their respective jerseys, we have no way of knowing if they actually traveled from out of town to get there. New York is a melting pot, and chances are good that those fans actually live in the city already, bringing their fandom with them.

"Am I to believe that most of the people that are in attendance have flown in to New York to attend the draft?" Rishe asks. "I'm sure there are some that do, but I would be surprised if even 20% of the people there traveled from out of a 200-mile radius."

The non-monetary upside

So why would other cities want to host the draft? And why would the NFL want to move the annual event?

It may not be economically driven. It may simply be an effort by the league to take the draft to the fans directly so that more people, even those that don't live near New York, can experience it. After all, placing the draft in a smaller, cheaper city that's more centrally located – like Indianapolis, for example – would make it easier and more feasible for fans to attend from out of town. Call it branding by boondoggle.

Time will tell if the NFL draft ends up moving or stays home in New York. But there is one undeniable upside of a non-Big Apple draft: fewer Jets fans in the crowd.

Are you ready to profit from this $14.4 trillion revolution?

Let's face it, every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big. Like buying PC-maker Dell in the late 1980s, before the consumer computing boom. Or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer Amazon.com in the late 1990s, when it was nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure-play" and then watch as it grows in EXPLOSIVE lockstep with its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 TRILLION industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers