KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City is one of eight finalists in the running to host a future NFL Draft.
A delegation of metro sports figures, including Kansas City Chiefs President Mark Donovan and Kansas City Sports Commission President Kathy Nelson, traveled to New York City on Wednesday to meet with NFL executives and pitch why Kansas City would be the best place to host the event in 2019 or 2020.
The draft is an annual NFL tradition which brings thousands of fans to one place to see future stars learn the next the step in their career.
Former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, who spoke to 41 Action News on Wednesday during a charity event, could remember the day he was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 1993.
“I was the third to last player picked,” he explained. “I was on day three of the draft."
As a former football player, he knows the significance of the occasion.
“There's a lot of emotion that goes into it because these are kids that have been training for 10-15 years,” Green said. “It's an incredible moment."
Organizers in Chicago and Philadelphia, the last two host cities of the draft, reported that the event led to between $60- and $80 million in economic activity.
Leaders in the metro have said Union Station, the Truman Sports Complex, and the Sprint Center/Power & Light District could all serve as potential sites to host the draft.
On Wednesday, the team from the metro showed pictures of a NFL Draft stage set up outside Union Station, with groups of fans watching near the World War I Memorial & Museum.
“The last two weeks was a scramble but it was very exciting,” Nelson explained. “We had 40 minutes to present. We kept it to about 30 then they asked questions right up to the hour."
— Kathy Nelson (@kathynelson_KC) November 15, 2017
Kansas City is competing against seven other cities, including Las Vegas and Houston, to host the draft.
Nelson told 41 Action News that the metro offered a unique opportunity for the event.
“When it's in Chicago, you'd have to kind of seek it out. When it's in New York, you'd have to know it was there,” she said. “When it's here, everybody will know."
Nelson said Kansas City would try to incorporate the military and youth football into the event if it is chosen.
Moving forward, she said hosting the draft would offer the city a special chance.
“It’s just another national spotlight on why our city is so great,” she explained. “There's so many things to do here. It's a livable city. It's fun. The energy here is great."
Nelson said she expected the NFL to narrow down the list of finalists to four in December. By May, she expected the NFL to pick the official hosts of the 2019 and 2020 NFL Draft.