Allow Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to break the figurative ice.
In a recent Q&A with the Chicago Tribune, Emanuel confirmed he’s working to bring the Super Bowl and the NFL draft to the Windy City.
“I would say that there are two things in pro football I would love to see in Chicago, either one of them or both: the NFL draft and the Super Bowl. They have different advantages for the city given that we have neither one, both would be great attractions for the city to bring national attention. We’ll work on both. There’s something to the draft and there’s something to the Super Bowl. I compliment the NFL for deciding to change to cold-weather cities.”
“… Would a Super Bowl be good for the city and good for the NFL? I think yes. Would having the NFL draft here be good for the city and for the NFL? The answer is yes. The goal is to have a discussion about both.”
Emanuel didn’t elaborate on his plans to have the annual draft moved from New York City, but hinted he’s already had discussions with the league.
As for the Super Bowl, Emanuel, who in the past proposed the idea to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, made the case for Chicago by citing other major sporting events that took place there.
“For the first time I have put a sports person over Chicago (Sam Stark, the executive director of the Chicago Sports Commission) That’s the reason we were successful in getting the Big Ten (basketball) tournament back here, the Triathlon, the NCAA’s Frozen Four in 2017 and gymnastics in 2018. You can see some sporting events that have started to come to the city because we have a person whose entire focus is emphasizing things like this. So it’s all a process.”
Goodell will inevitably explore the idea of future cold-weather Super Bowls, so Chicago — a major market — should have a legitimate shot. However, the NFL hasn’t ever seemed too interested in pulling the draft out of the Big Apple, home of league headquarters. It would be a monumental victory for Emanuel if he can secure just one of the two major events.
(Photo credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)