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Pittsburgh and the Steelers to host the 2026 NFL Draft

Pittsburgh officially to host 2026 NFL Draft
Pittsburgh officially to host 2026 NFL Draft 00:54

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The NFL Draft is officially coming to the Steel City. 

On Wednesday morning, the NFL announced via ESPN insider Adam Schefter that the 2026 NFL Draft will be hosted here in Pittsburgh. 

"The NFL Draft is one of the biggest, most-anticipated sporting events of the year, and we're thrilled to partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers and VisitPITTSBURGH for our 2026 event," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We have a unique opportunity to spotlight this wonderful community on a global stage, benefiting Pittsburgh's economy and entertaining football fans from all markets. We know this pride of Pennsylvania will shine bright in 2026."

This will represent a full circle moment for Pittsburgh as 2026 will mark 90 years since the event that would ultimately become the NFL Draft - the Player Selections Meting - was first hosted in 1936 at the Fort Pitt Hotel in Pittsburgh. 

"We are excited that the City of Pittsburgh has been selected to host the 2026 NFL Draft," said Art Rooney II, Pittsburgh Steelers President. "This will be an amazing event that will highlight everything the region has to offer on a national and international level. I truly appreciate the work that has been done by VisitPITTSBURGH, the NFL, local and state officials, and internally within our organization to accomplish our goal of being selected to host the NFL Draft."

"Pittsburgh is honored to have been named the host city for the 2026 NFL Draft," said Mayor Ed Gainey. "This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will allow us to showcase our city to an international audience, and it will give us a chance to say to our global fanbase, come on home to Pittsburgh. We are excited for everyone to see the transformation that has taken place."

This comes on the heels of the NFL hosting the draft this previous year in Detroit, which set records - seeing an attendance of more than 700,000. 

Before the NFL Draft comes to Pittsburgh, it will be held in Green Bay next year - 2025. 

For the past year, the Steelers and the City of Pittsburgh have been making their case to host an NFL Draft. 

Making the pitch to host the draft

For more than 50 years the NFL Draft was exclusively held in New York City, but in the past decade, several different cities have played host to the multiple-day event. 

Late last year, VisitPITTSBURGH and the Steelers officially submitted a bid to play host.

"We believe our city will be an excellent host to showcase the great history that connects Western Pennsylvania to the early roots of professional football and the evolution of the game through the decades," Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said in a statement. "The NFL Draft will draw hundreds of thousands of fans and out-of-town visitors, and we look forward to working with local and state officials and community leaders to ensure we craft a successful bid to host the 2026 or 2027 NFL Draft."  

"Cities are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of hosting the draft in their home market," VisitPittsburgh CEO Jerad Bacher said. "Pittsburgh is certainly an ideal destination."  

Now, after much speculation, we know the draft is heading to the 'Burgh. 

Where in Pittsburgh will it be hosted? 

While nothing is official and details will still have to be finalized, sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that it would likely be held on the North Shore near Acrisure Stadium and Stage AE. 

As the city began to prepare to host the NFL Draft potentially, Mayor Gainey traveled to Detroit to learn more about what goes into hosting one of the league's marquee events. 

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