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NFL Draft headed to Chicago in 2015

The NFL Draft is returning to the Midwest.

For the first time since 1964, the annual player selection meeting will take place outside of New York City and move to Chicago in 2015, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday.

"We are excited to have fans from throughout the Midwest experience the NFL Draft," Goodell said in a statement that announced the new location. "We look forward to returning the event to the city of Chicago and working with the city, Choose Chicago, and the Chicago Sports Commission to create a week-long celebration of football for our fans. Mayor Emanuel and the city of Chicago presented us with numerous ways to enhance the Draft experience for our fans and incoming players."

The location of the draft -- which is celebrating its 80th year -- will be the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, taking place April 30-May 2, 2015. The NFL Draft was previously held in Chicago in 1938, 1942-44, 1951, and 1962-64.

"Chicago is pleased to welcome the 2015 NFL Draft to America's heartland," Emanuel said in the same press release. "Next year, NFL fans from across the country will travel here or tune in as the future of their team is decided in Chicago. We look forward to working with the Chicago Bears, the NFL, and our neighborhood partners to make this an event that highlights our world class city and reinvests in our communities."

Round 1 will include prospects walking the red carpet on Michigan Avenue, while 32 former NFL legends, one representing each team, will announce selections in Round 2. In addition to the event inside Auditorium Theatre, fan festivities will expand to Grant Park and Congress Plaza.

Coverage of the 2014 NFL Draft reached 45.7 million people across three days, topping the previous record set in 2010 (45.4 million), according to The Nielsen Company.


1936 Ritz-Carlton (Philadelphia) * 1937 Hotel Lincoln (New York) * 1938 Hotel Sherman (Chicago) * 1939 Hotel New Yorker (New York)

  • 1940 Schroeder Hotel (Milwaukee)
  • 1941 Willard Hotel (Washington, D.C.)
  • 1942-44 Palmer House (Chicago)
  • 1945-47 Hotel Commodore (New York)
  • 1948 Hotel Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh)
  • 1949 Philadelphia
  • 1950 Bellevue-Stratford Hotel (Philadelphia)
  • 1951 Blackstone Hotel (Chicago)
  • 1952 Hotel Statler (New York)
  • 1953-54 Bellevue-Stratford Hotel (Philadelphia)
  • 1955 Warwick Hotel (New York)
  • 1956 Bellevue-Stratford Hotel Rds 1-3 (Philadelphia)
    Ambassador Hotel Rounds 4-30 (Los Angeles)
  • 1957 Warwick Hotel Rounds 1-4 (Philadelphia)
    Bellevue-Stratford Hotel Rds 5-30 (Philadelphia)
  • 1958-61 Warwick Hotel (Philadelphia)

1962-64 Sheraton Hotel (Chicago) * 1965-66 Summit Hotel (New York) * 1967 Hotel Gotham (New York) * 1968-71 Belmont Plaza Hotel (New York)

  • 1972 Essex House (New York)
  • 1973-74 Americana Hotel (New York)
  • 1975 Hilton Hotel (New York)
  • 1976-78 Roosevelt Hotel (New York)
  • 1979 Waldorf (New York)
  • 1980-83 Sheraton Hotel (New York)
  • 1984-85 Omni Park Central Hotel (New York)
  • 1986-94 Marriott Marquis (New York)
  • 1995-2004 Theatre at Madison Sq. Garden (New York)
  • 2005 Jacob Javits Convention Center (New York)
  • 2006-2014 Radio City Music Hall (New York)
  • 2015 Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (Chicago)
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