NFL Draft moving to Nashville for 2019

The NFL Draft is moving to its fourth city in as many years, and it’s one that Bears fans can drive to: Nashville, Tennessee. The three-day event will take place April 25 to April 27, the NFL announced Wednesday at its spring meetings in Atlanta.

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New York hosted the draft from 1965 through 2014, when it moved to the Auditorium Theatre and Grant Park for 2015 and 2016. When the NFL left Chicago, it said the city likely would get another chance to host, though it wanted to take the event around the country first. The league has done that the last two seasons, moving the draft to Philadelphia in 2017 and to Arlington, Texas, the home of the Cowboys, last month.

“Following an exciting and successful event in Dallas, we’re thrilled to take the NFL Draft to Nashville,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “The city has a passionate fan base and offers iconic locations that will enable us to expand the draft in unique ways.”

Linebacker Roquan Smith poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Bears with the eighth overall pick in the draft. (Getty Images)

The NFL has not specified exactly where within Nashville the draft or its outside fan festival will be held. The outdoor NFL Draft Experience drew more than 100,000 fans outside AT&T Stadium on the first day of this year’s draft, a figure the NFL said was a record. The league began holding outdoor festivals adjacent to the draft in 2015.

Las Vegas, Kansas City and Denver were among the other cities considered for the 2019 draft.