The draft is worth millions to a place some group claims.
National Football League owners handed out a couple of what they view as prizes to cities around the country. The draft, an event where a whole lot of nothing is going on and in fact it is a celebration of salary suppression. But Cleveland and Kansas City officials are reveling in the fact they got the 2021 and 2023 drafts. Cleveland gets the 2021 grab bag and Kansas City hosts it in 2023 and there will be millions upon millions of dollars in revenue heading into those areas because the league or some hired economists say so. The NFL claims about 600,000 people participate in April’s draft in Nashville. Nashville has about 700,000 and there is no way every person in the city attended an NFL Draft function. The area surrounding Nashville has around two million people. There is no estimate of just how much money the draft brought into Nashville.
There is an economic survey of the 2018 Dallas area draft. VisitDallas estimated that the draft produced an impact of $125.2 million and direct spending of $74 million. The numbers were above the estimates of $94.9 million in economic impact and $56.1 million in direct spending for the 2017 draft in Philadelphia. On-site surveys in Dallas showed that 60.5% of the draft attendees flew in for the event. The festivities also resulted in an estimated 18,991 room nights and $2.1 million in additional hotel revenue. No state government ever does economic impact surveys of sports events because the numbers may not come back all that rosy. Assuming VisitDalls estimates are correct and 18,991 room nights were used for the draft, how much of that money stayed in Dallas considering hotel chains are headquartered elsewhere. Something not factored in for paid surveys. The Draft has some emotional value but overall it doesn’t move the economic needle.