DALLAS (AP) — The NFL draft is heading to Las Vegas for 2020. It almost certainly will arrive before the Raiders do.
“We believe the draft will be the kickoff to our inaugural season,” said Raiders owner Mark Davis, who is moving the team from Oakland.
The league announced Wednesday at an owners meeting that the city where the Raiders will begin play in September 2020 will host the draft that April.
“Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world and will provide a tremendous experience for the NFL and its fans,” Davis added.
The NFL began to bring the draft to different cities in 2015, when it was in Chicago. It was held there in 2016, too, then went to Philadelphia in 2017. Last April, the Cowboys hosted it in their stadium in Arlington, Texas, and next year it will be in Nashville.
Other cities in the running for 2020 were Kansas City and Cleveland, which was partnering with the Pro Football Hall of Fame in nearby Canton, Ohio.
“We remain committed to hosting an NFL draft in Northeast Ohio and will continue to work closely with the NFL to identify the ideal opportunity for our fans, our city and the league,” the Browns said in a statement.
“There are many teams and cities across the NFL who are capable of creating an exceptional draft experience for fans, including the Titans and Raiders, and we are still hopeful we may ultimately share that honor in the future.”
April 23-25 will be the dates for the Las Vegas draft.
“The events in the draft are going to take place on and around the Las Vegas Strip,” said Peter O’Reilly, the league’s senior vice president of events. “We’ll take advantage of some of the large spaces around the Strip as well as some of the iconic locations that will provide an incredible backdrop for the draft. We’re certainly highlighting the Raiders’ new stadium that will be just months away from occupying starting the 2020 season.”