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NFL Draft in Nashville? Titans Owner Likes City's Chances



ORLANDO –** The NFL owners meetings wrapped up here on Wednesday.

The next time the owners meet – May 21-23 in Atlanta – a decision will be made on sites for the NFL Draft in 2019 and 2020.

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk is optimistic about Nashville's chances of hosting the event.

"The league has now done two site visits, so that is good," Strunk said. "And our Visitors Convention Committee has a strong plan. And, let's be honest: Nashville is the 'It' city. It's the 'It' city, and we know how to throw a party.

"Lower Broadway, can you imagine how it would be? There's venues all over town. And you have the music element. I think we are serious contenders, without a doubt."

Yes, there's a possibility the NFL Draft could be headed to the Music City.

Nashville is one of five finalists for hosting the draft in 2019 or 2020, in contention with Kansas City, Denver, Las Vegas and Cleveland/Canton.

Cities will be picked at the NFL meetings in May. A city for each year will be selected at that time.

This year's NFL Draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas -- the first time the event will take place inside an NFL stadium. The draft will run April 26-28.

Butch Spyridon and his team with the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, along with Scott Ramsey and his group from the Nashville Sports Council, are actively involved in the process.

Leading up to May's owners meetings, the NFL's special events committee is expected to have a recommendation for owners for the sites for the NFL Draft in 2019 and 2020. The owners would then ratify the decision of the committee.

"I am sure we'll start making our pitch," Strunk said. "Right now it is just laying the groundwork. But I think it would be fantastic."

The Titans are having a uniform unveil in downtown Nashville on April 4th.

The event could help the city as it makes its push.

It's expected the NFL Draft proposal would involve a location in downtown Nashville.

"When we were discussing the April 4th event, the talk was: Nashville is the perfect city to do what we are doing for that event," Strunk said. "With Broadway and Nissan Stadium in the background, it is so exciting."

After holding the draft each year in New York City, the NFL turned the draft into a road show in recent years, holding it in Philadelphia in 2017, and Chicago in 2015 and 2016. The NFL Draft is bid on each year by NFL cities and is held in the city with the winning bid.

The 2017 draft in Philadelphia, the first time a host city held the draft outside, set an attendance record for the event.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell presides over the first day of the NFL Draft. In previous years, most of the players projected as first-round draft picks are invited to attend.

All three days of the NFL Draft are televised nationally. In recent years ESPN and the NFL Network televised the draft, but the audience will grow even more this year as the Fox Network will start televising the event this year.

Nashville has never hosted an NFL Draft. The NHL Entry Draft was held in Nashville in 2003.

Nearly 8,000 Titans season ticket members turned out for the team's annual ticket holders event at Gaylord Opryland Hotel. (Photos: Donn Jones, Gary Glenn)

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