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NFL officials visit Charlotte to discuss hosting draft

Charlotte could host the NFL Draft as early as 2026. League officials recently visited the Queen City as discussions heat up.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NFL officials recently visited Charlotte as the league considers the Queen City as a future host for the NFL Draft, a spokesperson for the Charlotte Sports Foundation confirmed to WCNC Charlotte's Nick Carboni. 

A Mecklenburg County spokesperson said the county has participated in discussions surrounding the possibility of hosting the NFL draft in the future and what role the County might play in the event. 

Charlotte officials have been getting aggressive in their pursuit of luring major sporting events to the Queen City, and could soon bring the NFL Draft to town. Danny Morrison, the CEO of the Charlotte Sports Foundation, said his organization went to this year's draft in Kansas City to get a feel for what it would take to host the massive event. 

"We've got a lot of work to do, to know how it would unfold here in Charlotte," Morrison said. 

More than 54 million people watched the three-day event on TV, plus 312,000 fans attended in person, according to the NFL. Morrison said those numbers would make a big impact on Charlotte. The CSF's annual report showed $42 million in revenue was a direct result of sporting events in the area last year. 

The soonest Charlotte could host the NFL Draft would be 2026. Next year's draft will be held in Detroit and the 2025 location should be announced soon. Morrison emphasized that Charlotte's movement is simply exploratory at this stage but said there's plenty of support from city partners. 

The city of Charlotte released the following statement in regard to Charlotte getting the opportunity: 

The city has been engaged in conversations with our partners about Charlotte hosting the NFL Draft. Through our participation in the Charlotte Sports Foundation the city has a great track record of working with our community to lead similar efforts to attract marquee events to our city which have increased the profile of Charlotte and created economic opportunities for the people and business of Charlotte. In these pursuits we have leaned into our partnerships and supported events including financial support and with implementation, including event support, marketing and logistics. These events are important to our city, and we intend to continue to attract as well as execute world-class events. We look forward to continuing that work regarding the NFL Draft.

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