By: Bill Williamson
The annual pre-draft event is open for bidding for 2023 and beyond
It is clear that Las Vegas wants to become a major part of the NFL experience and there is already speculation within the league that it could make a push to become the next home of the NFL Combine.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported that the league is going to start accepting bids from teams and cities around the NFL to host the annual event. The 2022 combine will once again be held in Indianapolis — marking its 35th year as the event was canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic — before possibly moving to a new location.
SCOOP: The #NFL is opening the NFL Combine up to a bidding process stating with the 2023 event, after what will be its 35th year in Indianapolis. My latest for @IBJnews:https://t.co/32HAeCe0fP
— Mickey Shuey (@MickeyShuey) June 23, 2021
There has been scuttlebutt for years that the league will open up bidding for a new host city. The fact that it will actually happen, may be a sign that the NFL is ready to move the event.
This is true. All clubs have the opportunity to let the league know if they have interest in hosting the Combine but also upcoming Drafts and Super Bowls. The focus on growing and evolving marquee events to reach millions of fans locally, nationally and internationally continues. https://t.co/Cg7qbqpBXB
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 23, 2021
This opens the door for Las Vegas. For years, the prevailing thought was that the NFL would move the February pre-draft event to Los Angeles once the league returned to the city. Of course, the Rams and the Chargers are starting their second year in SoFi Stadium, so LA is a real contender for the event.
However, Las Vegas can go toe-to-toe with any city in terms of convention-sized large events. It has all the hotel and meeting space needed and Allegiant Stadium is centrally located in the city.
I’d fully expect the Raiders and Las Vegas to throw their hats into the ring for the combine. The city is already going to host the 2022 NFL draft and it has explored the possibility of hosting future Super Bowls.
Making a play for the NFL Combine only makes sense for Las Vegas.