Nashville crushed the draft in a way where it's got to come back

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville gave the NFL just what it wanted: A party and a spectacle that was fantastic for an estimated 500,000 fans who poured through Music City for the NFL Draft and played beautifully as a television show.

“Outstanding,” said Titans GM Jon Robinson, who saw it only on TV from the Titans' draft room a few miles away and wore a “RSPCT NSHVL” hat at his press conference after his final pick. “It was unbelievable.DraftStars

“Every time they scanned Broadway, the fans, the crowd – part of the reason why I’m wearing this hat, because I think there’s a respect factor that comes with this city and this state now, because we lived up to the hype.” [Unlocked]

The league reports that the 2019 NFL Draft was the highest-rated and most-watched draft ever, breaking records established just a year ago. In total, all NFL Draft telecasts combined to reach more than 47.5 million television viewers over the three-day event, up five percent from 2018. That growth is bound to continue no matter the host city. 

Here are the extraordinary numbers: The 2019 NFL Draft shattered records for attendance as over 600,000 fans filled the streets of Nashville, easily establishing a new record -- there were 250,000 in Philadelphia in 2017. And the local TV ratings were incredible, a 10.6, up 104 percent from last year and up 74 percent from Dallas, the host city, a year ago.DraftCrowdKirbyjpeg

So good was this draft/party that while the league will seek to splash the event all over the country -- Las Vegas is the site next year for an event that has already been in Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas – that the idea is already floating in the media that Nashville should be a regular presence.

The way the Super Bowl regularly hits New Orleans and Miami, the draft should hit Nashville

I’m on board with that.

I admit it’s a little weird to me that the rave reviews result for a lot of showing up, standing, watching and drinking. But we are really good at that here and now that we’ve got the plan for logistics down and can tinker with it, now that people here and from elsewhere who came here have shown such a willingness to participate in the party, why not have it again and again?

Plenty of other cities will have great setups too, but Broadway’s width and bar scene make for a perfect party setting. The green room/media center tent along 1st Avenue seemed to work out perfectly for their functions and the only thing that was going to mess it up was a serious storm – which we managed to avoid even as it rained some Thursday night.

Next time, the NFL Experience set up on the Nissan Stadium campus should be open for the entire week rather than just the three days of the draft, as families will happily pour through there early, at least in the evenings leading up to the draft of the Sunday following it.

I don’t know how often the NFL could circle back to us as Draftville, but I look forward to finding out.

As for DraftVegas, the bar is set high. They know how to put on a show. It ought to be really spectacular.

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