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Green Bay confident city can host successful NFL Draft

By The Sports Xchange
Green Bay confident city can host successful NFL Draft
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers towels off during an NFC playoff game vs. the Atlanta Falcons. Green Bay is making a push to host the NFL draft. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

Green Bay, by far the smallest market in the NFL, is pushing to host an upcoming draft.

Philadelphia hosted the NFL Draft in April and the event drew over 250,000 people in a three-day span.

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Brad Toll, president and CEO of the Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau, is confident the city could manage a Philadelphia-sized crowd with enough working space and hotel accommodations.

"My gut feeling is with the people they had in town (in Philadelphia), we could accommodate that," Toll told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Between the Resch Center and Titletown District, we certainly have every bit of space they need."

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Green Bay's biggest challenge could be the number of hotel rooms to accommodate such a huge event. Green Bay has just 4,700 hotel rooms while neighboring Appleton adds another 3,000, compared to the Philadelphia region with more than 35,000 hotel rooms.

In addition, the NFL requires a stage for announcing picks, a green room, floor space for team tables, broadcasting areas for NFL Network and ESPN, working space for other media and fan seating.

The NFL has not announced a site for the 2018 draft after holding it in Chicago for two years and in Philadelphia this year.

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The Packers have asked to host the draft for specific years, according to the newspaper. The 100th birthday of the Packers' founding, 2019, would be a top choice.

Toll said the NFL is not looking for a cookie-cutter draft that duplicates the Chicago and Philadelphia events.

"They don't necessarily want us to do what Chicago did, what Philly did," Toll told the Journal Sentinel. "They want a unique flavor. What I took away is how flexible they are willing to be."

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The city could highlight the Packers' history, Lambeau Field and tradition to land the draft. The Packers are the third-oldest NFL team, behind the Chicago Bears and Arizona (originally Chicago) Cardinals. The Packers have been in the same location with the same name longer than any NFL team.

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