Nashville has been named the host city for the 2019 NFL Draft.
The NFL announced Music City as the host at the league owners meeting in Atlanta Wednesday morning.
Within minutes of the announcement, a video featuring Tim McGraw and Eddie George showed up on Twitter.
“It’s totally amazing. It’s like a dream,” said Amy Adams Strunk, controlling owner of the Tennessee Titans.
Strunk says the momentum for Nashville really started with the night the Titans revealed their new uniforms and 25,000 fans showed up for the party.
“Our uniform reveal became the ‘Ah ha moment’, she said. “Wow. These people can pull this off.”
“Nashville has never hosted an event like the 2019 NFL Draft,” said Titans Senior Vice President, Stuart Spears, at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “This is a milestone for this city, for which it should be very proud.”
Butch Spyridon, the president and CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., told News 2 the city pitched almost every venue in downtown Nashville for events and parties, including Ascend Amphitheater, Nissan Stadium and its parking lots for the fan experience, and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center for the Titans’ war room.
Spyridon said artists and athletes like Tim McGraw, Eddie George, Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, Keith Urban and The Kings of Leon have offered to promote and/or perform during the draft.
“We’re a smaller market. But we play much bigger. We have the brand, we have the sizzle,” said Spyridon.
Spyridon said he hopes to make the draft uniquely Nashville.
“So, if you think about New Year’s Eve, CMA, July 4th, we do pretty good with big events. It’s funny. (The NFL) also said music has never worked very well for them. I chuckled and said ‘you’ve never put anything in Nashville. Because you’re going to have music.'”
News 2’s Cory Curtis spoke with Jaguars owner Shad Khan ahead of the announcement.
He called Nashville “modern America” and was very excited about it as a site for the NFL Draft. Khan also made an interesting point that cities that don’t host the Super Bowl should get the Draft.
Khan recently put in a bid for Wembley Stadium in London and joked Titans fans should “bring lots of money” in their first trip across the pond.
When asked about a possible Super Bowl in Nashville, Spyridon said such talks were premature.
“Obviously I’ll never shy away from the big event, I think it’s a little premature,” he said. “We would like to show off our capacity, and our capabilities, we intend to do that so when the question does come up, we’re ready to answer.”
The NFL Draft is typically held on the last weekend in April.
Cities also in the running were Cleveland, Canton, Las Vegas, Kansas City and Denver.