The league claims the draft has a big economic impact.
David Tepper, the owner of the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers, wants to bring the league’s draft to Charlotte sometime in the future. The NFL doesn’t put the Super Bowl or the draft out to bid anymore. The league finds out if an area wants the draft and then works with the local community to see if the area is really serious about holding the event. Tepper has to wait. The 2022 event is in Las Vegas, and the 2023 draft will take place in Kansas City. Detroit, Green Bay and Washington want the 2024 event. The NFL and municipal economists wax poetically about the millions upon millions of dollars of economic impact the draft has on a city and how the 2017 Philadelphia draft produced $56 million in visitor spending and how the 2018 Dallas draft produced $74 million in economic spending and then came Nashville in 2019 and how visitors spent $133 million while in the Tennessee capital. No one knows exactly just how much is really spent, just a bunch of economists spinning a story to fit a narrative.
No one ever does an official audit of what is really spent as part of a major sports event. But the storyline sounds good. Besides, an area gets three-or-four-days’ worth of publicity which money can’t buy. Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory in 2002 and 2003 led the charge to build a new arena in the city to regain a National Basketball Association franchise after George Shinn took his team in New Orleans in 2002 saying that it was important to have a team in the city because ESPN would use the Charlotte name and that would be seen on SportsCenter. Chances are government officials really don’t want to know what the real economic impact is because it would ruin the story.
Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191