Chicago mayor wants city to host Super Bowl, NFL draft

Now that the NFL’s first cold-weather Super Bowl is in the books, the push for other northern cities to host the big game will begin in earnest.

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)

Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports,,, and Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (
  • Hell no

    Ummm I dont know if anyone notice but Chicago is suffering through worst winter in years and players and fans wont want sit through single digit temps to watch a game. Plus Soldier Field has one of smallest seating capacities in the league even with the rebuild. It looks like giant spaceship. Unless Soldier Field is going to add more seats I dont see this happening. Maybe Boston and D.C but def not Chicago