PHILADELPHIA (WTXF/AP) - The NFL just announced the 2017 draft will be held in Philadelphia with a City Hall news conference led by senior vice president Peter O'Reilly, who talked about growing the event. The draft will be held on the Ben Franklin Parkway, April 28-30, 2017.
"Philadelphia is a passionate football town and will serve as a tremendous backdrop for the draft and provide a great atmosphere for our fans and incoming players," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote on the NFL's website.
Goodell continued, "Jeffrey Lurie has been a strong advocate and supporter of the draft on behalf of the City of Philadelphia throughout the entire selection process. We look forward to working with the Philadelphia Eagles, the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau to create a week-long celebration of football for our fans."
Then, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney thanked everyone involved in the decision and said, “Philadelphia knows how to put on big events.”
After, former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski screamed, “How cool is this?” and “We were selected because of the fans.”
He mentioned lots of media coverage, an $86 million impact, and 200,000 fans expected that week next April.
For decades, the draft was held in New York, but scheduling issues for 2015 and a strong bid from Chicago led to it being moved. After two years in Chicago, the draft became a traveling show.
Philadelphia has held NFL drafts before, including the first ever. Now, it beat out several other locations eager to stage next year's proceedings, marking the annual event's third venue in four years.
The draft traditionally is held on the final Thursday through Saturday of April, which would be April 28-30 in 2017. It'll be held on the Ben Franklin Parkway, near where Pope Francis celebrated Mass in a visit to the city last fall.
The first three rounds are held in prime time, with the opening round on Thursday, and the second and third rounds on Friday. The final four rounds take place Saturday afternoon.
However, the hometown Eagles won't have a pick in the first round.
According to the NFL, "The NFL draft was last held in Philadelphia in 1960, and the first ever NFL draft was held in Philadelphia in 1936," at the original Ritz-Carlton. That year, the Eagles selected Jay Berwanger first overall.