DENVER -- Late last season Broncos officials traveled to New York City to talk about the draft with NFL bigwigs. Not about their pick, but rather hosting the league's annual selection party.
They clearly impressed the league's top brass. The team announced Thursday the Broncos and the city of Denver are a finalist to host the drafts in 2019 and 2020. The NFL expects to reveal the host cities during the spring league meeting May 21-23 in Atlanta. Denver is competing with Cleveland-Canton, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Nashville.
"It is a competitive process, and we're excited to move one step closer to bringing the NFL draft to Denver," said Broncos president Joe Ellis. "Working alongside Visit Denver and the Denver Sports Commission, we're confident that Denver would be a tremendous host to showcase the draft and the NFL in a great football environment."
The draft blends the passion of college football and NFL fans, leading to a rowdy, entertaining environment. After a five-decade run in New York City, the NFL opted for new locations. Chicago hosted in 2015 and 2016, Philadelphia staged the event in 2017, and Dallas will hold the upcoming draft on April 26-28.
It is expected league officials will make a site visit to Denver in the future as they size up the candidates. The Broncos are not sharing particulars about their bid until a selection is made. The Broncos and the city remain optimistic about their chances. Denver has been angling for the draft since the NFL opened up the process. The Broncos feature the type of fan base and city facilities that make them attractive suitors. The Broncos are working with Visit Denver and the Denver Sports Commission in attempt to land the high-profile event.
"As one of America's best sports cities, we are optimistic that Denver can make a great case for hosting this event. We are pleased to hear that Denver has made the shortlist of cities still under consideration to host the 2019 or 2020 draft," said Matthew Payne, executive director of the Denver Sports Commission. "We look forward to further dialogue about the possibilities."