Bringing the NFL Draft to Nashville in 2024-2025 makes perfect sense

Nashville was home to the largest NFL Draft crowd of all time in 2019, so it makes sense for the NFL to consider coming back. Over 600,000 fans filled the streets of Nashville to take part in the festivities of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Music City welcomed an estimated 600,000 draft-goers across the three-day event, said Brian McCarthy, the National Football League vice president of communications.

via Matthew Leimkuehler of the Tennessean

After seeing the boost the NFL Draft provided to the economy in Nashville, the city is calling to host it again by 2024 or 2025. The 2019 NFL Draft generated $132.8 million in direct spending from visitors, which is a record for the draft. This new record beat the previous record set in 2018 by $58.8 million. It’s safe to speculate that there would be mutual interest to bring the NFL Draft back in the near future.

Recent events have challenged the city of Nashville, and specifically the businesses of Nashville. The beginning of the devastation in Nashville started on March 3rd, 2020 when two deadly tornadoes came through the area. One of the tornadoes hit Nashville head on, while another touched down in Putnam County, Tennessee.

Two tornadoes confirmed

According to the National Weather Service in Nashville, the deadly tornado that hit Putnam County on Tuesday was rated as an EF-4 with 175 mph winds. Another tornado that touched down in Nashville and Wilson Counties were rated as an EF-3.

via USA Today

According to CNBC, more than 400 commercial structures were damaged in the storms. You can imagine the devastation a storm of that caliber can do to a growing economy like Nashville’s. The storm alone was cause for major concern for jobs and the economy in Nashville. Many people awakened on March 4th to find that their place of work had been destroyed and they were out of a job.

The people of Middle Tennessee reached out a helping hand after the storms. Tailgate Brewery wasn’t affected by the storm and brought in over 30 temporary employees to assist those who lost their jobs.

Hands on Nashville, a non-profit group leading volunteer organization, reported Thursday that more than 22,000 people have signed up to help with disaster recovery.

via CNBC

COVID in Nashville

Businesses were still recovering from the storms when COVID-19 made it’s dramatic entrance in the wacky year of 2020. Just over a week after the March 4th tornado, the SEC tournament normally held at Bridgestone Arena was cancelled. A day later on March 13th the Grand Ole Opry closed to live audiences. You can see how the trend is going here. Nashville has been going through an almost complete shutdown and is still feeling the effects.

A $2 trillion stimulus bill enacted by the US Government helped “stimulate” the economy, but that is no match for normal daily life in Nashville.

Protests turned riots

The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25th, 2020 caused protests across the nation. The majority of protests were peaceful, and it was amazing to see people across America unite to protest racism and police brutality. But things got dangerous when protests turned to riots.

These riots were said to be instigated by ANTIFA, which has been labeled a terrorist organization by President Donald Trump. Multiple videos have surfaced of ANTIFA members instigating riots and handing out cash in exchange for chaos.

Regardless of the cause or start of the riots, they were disastrous to the cities in which they occured. One of these cities was Nashville, and it only added on to the pain that had been caused by previous events such as the tornado and COVID-19.

Rebuilding Nashville with the NFL Draft

Nashville’s economy has taken an absolute beating over the past few months. Millions of dollars have been lost due to recent hits to local businesses.

It will most likely take years for Nashville to be repaired to the point it was previous to the tornado. The NFL Draft could expedite the city’s recovery with all of the money it brings along with it. The NFL has already announced locations for the draft through 2023. The locations are as follows:

  • 2021 – Cleveland
  • 2022 – Las Vegas (originally planned for 2020)
  • 2023 – Kansas City

Bringing the draft to Nashville in either 2024 or 2025 seems like a win for both the NFL and for Nashville. Nashville has already provided the NFL with the most successful draft yet. The NFL would want businesses reopened and the economy repaired somewhat before coming to Tennessee’s capital. That is why waiting 4-5 years makes perfect sense for both sides. The wait gives Nashville time to recover. Then, once the economy is back on track the draft could bring a huge boost to local businesses that are just beginning to get back on their feet.

So, my question is, why not Nashville?

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Nashville” by Nicholas Henderson licensed by (CC BY 2.0)

About The Author Tanner Staggs

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