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Commissioner Roger Goodell weighs in on Denver's potential to host NFL draft

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After 57 consecutive years in New York, the NFL draft shifted to the Windy City in 2015.

A repeat performance in 2016 gave way to a Philadelphia-based draft in 2017, and as the popularity of the event grows, there's no sign the travel will stop anytime soon.

Cities are lining up to host the draft, which drew more than 250,000 people to Philadelphia's Museum of Art over the course of three days.

This rampant success begs an obvious question: When is the NFL's premier offseason event headed to Denver?

After Commissioner Roger Goodell's town hall meeting in Denver on Thursday, he took aim at the topic.

"One of the great things is that there's been so much interest in hosting it," Goodell said. "I think that we had 14 cities that were in Philadelphia, obviously looking at the event, figuring out how they would do it. And it's gotten more competitive, because I think people see the value of hosting that.

"This is a great community with a lot of passion, and I think they'd be great hosts. I can't imagine we won't be here someday. The hard part for us now is being able to try to get everywhere they want us. But that's a good problem to have."

Patrick Smyth, the Broncos' Executive Vice President of Public and Community Relations, addressed the Broncos' stance on hosting the draft in a May interview with the Denver Post.

"While we don't have a formal bid submitted at this time, we remain extremely interested in helping to bring a future NFL draft to Denver," Smyth said. "With the dates of the upcoming drafts, there are still some logistical challenges we need to work through with Visit Denver and the city."

The hopes of hosting a Super Bowl seem considerably more remote.

"The competitiveness of hosting the Super Bowl is even more competitive," Goodell said. "The requirements, the infrastructure that's required – not just from the facility standpoint, but from hotel rooms and all the other events that take place – there's a lot that has to be done.

On a brisk, windy morning, the Broncos brought their best as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell heads to camp for practice and a fan forum afterward. (photos by Gabriel Christus, unless noted)

"There are probably certain communities that couldn't do that. I don't think this is necessarily one of them, but that's what the bid process is for: to show us how you would address those issues."

MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, remains the only true, cold-weather, open-air stadium to host the Super Bowl. Goodell said Thursday there remains an "ongoing debate" regarding whether the game should be held in "a perfect climate with conditions that are perfect."

"We had a great experience in New York. There is an ongoing debate about whether you want the Super Bowl to be done in a perfect climate with conditions that are perfect. And that's probably an ongoing debate, and people have different views. That's why the ownership votes on this, and they'll vote … to make that decision."

The Super Bowl locations through 2022 were previously announced; Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami, Tampa and Los Angeles will all host the event over the next five seasons.

The Broncos may not need to wait quite as long to show off the Mile High City on draft day.

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