Chicago, Los Angeles named finalists to host 2015 NFL Draft

Chicago, Los Angeles named finalists to host 2015 NFL Draft
July 17, 2014, 9:30 pm
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Scott Krinch

The 2015 NFL Draft is officially on the move.

After months of speculation, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed that New York — the host of every NFL Draft since 1965 — is out of the running for next year's draft.

The only hurdle remaining is which city will be given the green light to start planning.

"We're focusing solely on Los Angeles and Chicago now," Goodell told the Los Angeles Times at the Beverly Hilton after participating on a CBS "Thursday Night Football" panel.

The "Big Apple" was eliminated from the running because Radio City Music Hall, the venue for the league's annual draft since 2006, didn't have any available dates in April or May. Madison Square Garden would have been the likely choice if the NFL had elected to keep the draft in New York.

[RELATED: Will the NFL Draft return to Chicago in 2015?]

If Chicago wins the bid to host next year's draft, Crain's Chicago Business Insider Danny Ecker believes the likely venue will be the historic Chicago Theatre.

In June, NFL.com's Gil Brandt predicted Chicago will host the 2015 NFL Draft.

"If I were an oddsmaker, I would say Chicago is where it'll be next year," Brandt said in an interview with SiriusXM. "... The draft is going to be a grand event, as we know it. It's going to be, not only the players selected, but we're going to have events outside of the draft area in which they will have a 40-yard dash race for people that want to run the 40 like players do. It'll be just like the event they have at the Super Bowl, the NFL Experience."

During Thursday panel, Goodell indicated that the NFL will make a decision later this summer but he won't give a definitive timetable.