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NFL touts $94.9 million in economic impact for Philadelphia draft

2017 NFL Draft

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 27: Fans cheer from the viewing party during the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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The NFL finally has realized that it can market the privilege of hosting the draft in the same way the NFL markets the privilege of hosting the Super Bowl. Although it’s a much lower scale than football’s annual championship game, getting cities to clamor for the privilege of hosting the draft will result in the financial offers from the various cities improving -- and in the NFL and its owners ultimately getting more and more free stuff.

The latest step toward making the draft a mini-version of the Super Bowl comes from the league itself, which has issued a press release declaring that this year’s draft in Philadelphia generated an economic impact of $94.9 million.

It’s calculations like this that will get mayors and city councils to justify forking over some of those millions to attract the draft to town. And given that the report is being released at a time when the site of the 2018 draft has not been determined, it’s hard not to wonder the press release was specifically times to help close whatever deal the league is trying to do with Philadelphia, or some other city.