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Chicago in the mix to host 2015 NFL Draft

NEW YORK NY - MAY 08:  Kyle Fuller VirginiTech Hokies poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08: Kyle Fuller of the Virginia Tech Hokies poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was picked #14 overall by the Chicago Bears during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on May 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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Updated: June 5, 2014 11:23PM

All the glitz and glamor of the NFL draft might be coming to Chicago in 2015. That’s if Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his staff are able to outdo the bids from New York, Los Angeles and possibly others.

The NFL sent letters to Chicago, New York and Los Angeles on Thursday, requesting information about hosting the 2015 draft. The three cities have until mid-June to submit proposals. NFL officials will visit every site with a decision expected later this summer.

A league spokesman stressed that more than 12 cities remain in the mix. But Chicago, New York and Los Angeles were the first to be sent formal letters.

The NFL’s letter was sent to Choose Chicago, which handles the city’s major events.

One important prerequisite for venues is availability during April 22-25 and April 29-May 2. With April 22 and 29 being Wednesdays, the league appears to be strongly considering a four-day draft. Another important factor is the ability to host a fan festival in an adjacent indoor or outdoor space.

The NFL is searching for a new home for the draft after officials for Radio City Music Hall informed the league that it will not be available in April or May.

A local venue to consider is the Chicago Theatre. It’s operated by Madison Square Garden, which also runs Radio City. The draft has been held in New York since 1965 and at Radio City since 2006.

Chicago’s pursuit of the draft hasn’t been a secret.

Bears president Ted Phillips said at the NFL owners meetings in March that Emanuel was interested in hosting the draft. Goodell then said in May that “the two most aggressive” cities trying to land the draft were Chicago and Los Angeles.

Contributing: Mitch Dudek


Twitter: @adamjahns

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