Apr 232013
 

With the NFL draft fast approaching, I thought it would be a good time to dig up some research I did last year on the history of the draft’s past locations/venues. Most people are probably unaware that the draft wasn’t always held in New York City.


For the last 49 years the NFL draft has been held in New York City. The draft is clearly New York’s event. However, the cities of Chicago, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington can all boast that they have been the site of a NFL draft.

List of NFL Draft Locations

Draft Date(s) Location Venue
1936 February 8, 1936 Philadelphia, PA Ritz-Carlton Hotel
1937 December 12, 1936 New York, NY Hotel Lincoln
1938 December 11, 1937 Chicago, IL Hotel Sherman
1939 December 9, 1938 New York, NY New Yorker Hotel
       
Draft Date(s) Location Venue
1940 December 9, 1939 Milwaukee, WI Schroeder Hotel
1941 December 10, 1940 Washington, DC Willard Hotel
1942 December 21, 1941 Chicago, IL Palmer House
1943 April 8, 1943 Chicago, IL Palmer House
1944 April 19, 1944 Philadelphia, PA Warwick Hotel
1945 April 6, 1945 New York, NY Hotel Commodore
1946 January 14, 1946 New York, NY Hotel Commodore
1947 December 16, 1946 New York, NY Hotel Commodore
       
1948 December 19, 1947 Pittsburgh, PA Fort Pitt Hotel
Note: Moved from Chicago, IL.
       
1949 November 15, 1948 Pittsburgh, PA Hotel Schenley
Note: Secret draft meeting.
1949 December 21, 1948 Philadelphia, PA Bellevue-Stratford Hotel
       
Draft Date(s) Location Venue
1950 November 7, 1949 Philadelphia, PA Racquet Club of Philadelphia
Note: Draft meeting before the AAFC merger.
1950 January 21, 1950 Philadelphia, PA Bellevue-Stratford Hotel
Note: Draft meeting after the AAFC merger.
       
1951 January 18-19, 1951 Chicago, IL Blackstone Hotel
1952 January 17, 1952 New York, NY Hotel Statler
1953 January 22, 1953 Philadelphia, PA Bellevue-Stratford Hotel
1954 January 28, 1954 Philadelphia, PA Bellevue-Stratford Hotel
1955 January 27-28, 1955 New York, NY Warwick New York
       
1956 November 28, 1955 Philadelphia, PA Bellevue-Stratford Hotel
Note: Rounds 1-3
1956 January 17-18, 1956 Los Angeles, CA Ambassador Hotel
Note: Rounds 4-30
       
1957 November 26, 1956 Philadelphia, PA Warwick Hotel
Note: Rounds 1-4
1957 January 31, 1957 Philadelphia, PA Bellevue-Stratford Hotel
Note: Rounds 5-30
       
1958 December 2, 1957 Philadelphia, PA Warwick Hotel
Note: Rounds 1-4
1958 January 28, 1958 Philadelphia, PA Warwick Hotel
Note: Rounds 5-30
       
1959 December 1, 1958 Philadelphia, PA Warwick Hotel
Note: Rounds 1-4
1959 January 21, 1959 Philadelphia, PA Warwick Hotel
Note: Rounds 5-30
       
Draft Date(s) Location Venue
1960 November 30, 1959 Philadelphia, PA Warwick Hotel
1961 December 27-28, 1960 Philadelphia, PA Warwick Hotel
1962 December 4, 1961 Chicago, IL Sheraton Chicago Hotel
1963 December 3, 1962 Chicago, IL Sheraton Chicago Hotel
1964 December 2, 1963 Chicago, IL Sheraton Chicago Hotel
1965 November 28, 1964 New York, NY Summit Hotel
1966 November 27, 1965 New York, NY Summit Hotel
1967 March 14, 1967 New York, NY Gotham Hotel
1968 January 30-31, 1968 New York, NY Belmont Plaza Hotel
1969 January 28-29, 1969 New York, NY Belmont Plaza Hotel
       
Draft Date(s) Location Venue
1970 January 27-28, 1970 New York, NY Belmont Plaza Hotel
1971 January 28-29, 1971 New York, NY Belmont Plaza Hotel
1972 February 1-2, 1972 New York, NY Essex House
1973 January 30-31, 1973 New York, NY Americana Hotel
1974 January 29-30, 1974 New York, NY Americana Hotel
1975 January 28-29, 1975 New York, NY The Hilton at Rockefeller Center
1976 April 8-9, 1976 New York, NY Roosevelt Hotel
1977 May 3-4, 1977 New York, NY Roosevelt Hotel
1978 May 2-3, 1978 New York, NY Roosevelt Hotel
1979 May 3-4, 1979 New York, NY Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
       
Draft Date(s) Location Venue
1980 April 29-30, 1980 New York, NY New York Sheraton Hotel
1981 April 28-29, 1981 New York, NY New York Sheraton Hotel
1982 April 27-28, 1982 New York, NY New York Sheraton Hotel
1983 April 26-27, 1983 New York, NY New York Sheraton Hotel
1984 May 1-2, 1984 New York, NY Omni Park Central Hotel ¹
1985 April 30-May 1, 1985 New York, NY Omni Park Central Hotel ¹
1986 April 29-30, 1986 New York, NY Marriott Marquis
1987 April 28-29, 1987 New York, NY Marriott Marquis
1988 April 24-25, 1988 New York, NY Marriott Marquis
1989 April 23-24, 1989 New York, NY Marriott Marquis
¹ Formerly the New York Sheraton Hotel.
       
Draft Date(s) Location Venue
1990 April 22-23, 1990 New York, NY Marriott Marquis
1991 April 21-22, 1991 New York, NY Marriott Marquis
1992 April 26-27, 1992 New York, NY Marriott Marquis
1993 April 25-26, 1993 New York, NY Marriott Marquis
1994 April 24-25, 1994 New York, NY Marriott Marquis
1995 April 22-23, 1995 New York, NY The Theater at Madison Square Garden
1996 April 20-21, 1996 New York, NY The Theater at Madison Square Garden
1997 April 19-20, 1997 New York, NY The Theater at Madison Square Garden
1998 April 18-19, 1998 New York, NY The Theater at Madison Square Garden
1999 April 17-18. 1999 New York, NY The Theater at Madison Square Garden
       
Draft Date(s) Location Venue
2000 April 15-16, 2000 New York, NY The Theater at Madison Square Garden
2001 April 21-22, 2001 New York, NY The Theater at Madison Square Garden
2002 April 20-21, 2002 New York, NY The Theater at Madison Square Garden
2003 April 26-27, 2003 New York, NY The Theater at Madison Square Garden
2004 April 24-25, 2004 New York, NY The Theater at Madison Square Garden
2005 April 23-24, 2005 New York, NY Javits Convention Center
2006 April 29-30, 2006 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
2007 April 28-29, 2007 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
2008 April 26-27, 2008 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
2009 April 25-26, 2009 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
       
Draft Date(s) Location Venue
2010 April 22-24, 2010 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
2011 April 28-30, 2011 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
2012 April 26-28, 2012 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
2013 April 25-27, 2013 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall

 

The NFL draft has been held at 31 different venues. The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City has been the most frequent host; ten drafts from 1995-2004.

NFL Draft Venues Sorted by Drafts Hosted

Venue City Drafts Held Last Draft
The Theater at Madison Square Garden New York, NY 10 2004
Marriott Marquis New York, NY 9 1994
Warwick Hotel Philadelphia, PA 8 1961
Radio City Music Hall New York, NY 7 2012
Bellevue-Stratford Hotel Philadelphia, PA 6 1957
New York Sheraton Hotel (1980-83) New York, NY 6 1985
Omni Park Central Hotel (1984-85)
Belmont Plaza Hotel New York, NY 4 1971
Sheraton Chicago Hotel Chicago, IL 3 1964
Hotel Commodore New York, NY 3 1947
Roosevelt Hotel New York, NY 3 1978
Americana Hotel (1973-74) New York, NY 2 1974
Palmer House Chicago, IL 2 1943
Summit Hotel New York, NY 2 1966
Blackstone Hotel Chicago, IL 1 1951
Hotel Sherman Chicago, IL 1 1938
Ambassador Hotel Los Angeles, CA 1 1956
Schroeder Hotel Milwaukee, WI 1 1940
Essex House New York, NY 1 1972
Gotham Hotel New York, NY 1 1967
Hotel Lincoln New York, NY 1 1937
Hotel Statler New York, NY 1 1952
Javits Convention Center New York, NY 1 2005
New Yorker Hotel New York, NY 1 1939
The Hilton at Rockefeller Center New York, NY 1 1975
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel New York, NY 1 1979
Warwick New York New York, NY 1 1955
Racquet Club of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA 1 1950
Ritz-Carlton Hotel Philadelphia, PA 1 1936
Fort Pitt Hotel Pittsburgh, PA 1 1948
Hotel Schenley Pittsburgh, PA 1 1949
Willard Hotel Washington, DC 1 1941

 

What about the other major professional football leagues? Listed below are the locations where the All-America Football Conference and American Football League hosted their drafts.

AAFC Draft Locations

Draft Date(s) Location Venue
1946 January 4-6 ?, 1946 Chicago, IL Blackstone Hotel
Note: “Limited” draft meeting.
       
1947 December 20-21, 1946 Cleveland, OH Hotel Cleveland
1948 December 16, 1946 New York, NY Hotel Commodore
       
1949 July 8, 1948 Chicago, IL ?
Note: Secret two-round draft meeting.
1949 December 21, 1948 Cleveland, OH Carter Hotel
       
1950 December 15-16, 1949 Houston TX Shamrock Hotel
Note: Draft cancelled after NFL merger.

 

AFL Draft Locations

Draft Date(s) Location Venue
1960 November 23, 1959 Minneapolis, MN Nicollet Hotel
Note: 264 players drafted.
1960 December 2, 1959 Dallas, TX ?
Note: 161 players drafted.
       
1961 November 21-22, 1960 - -
Note: Rounds 1-6 conducted by telephone.
1961 December 5-6, 1960 Dallas, TX Statler-Hilton Hotel
Note: Rounds 7-30
       
1962 November, 1961 - -
Note: Secret draft conducted by telephone. Later voided.
1962 December 2, 1961 Dallas, TX Statler-Hilton Hotel
       
1963 December 1, 1962 Dallas, TX Statler-Hilton Hotel
1964 November 30, 1963 New York, NY Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
       
1965 November, 1964 - -
Note: Secret draft conducted by telephone.
1965 November 28, 1964 New York, NY Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
       
1966 November 2, 1965 New York, NY ?
Note: Secret draft meeting.
1966 November 27, 1965 New York, NY Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

 

Sources: Click here to view the media sources I used to compile these lists.

 

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