Pittsburgh To Host 2026 NFL Draft: 5 More Cities That Deserve the Event

With the 2026 NFL Draft set to be held in Pittsburgh, we look at five cities that make sense as potential future destinations for the event.

The NFL Draft is heading to the Steel City. On Wednesday, Pittsburgh was awarded hosting rights for the 2026 NFL Draft. Rumors about the city potentially hosting the 2026 draft first popped up during Tuesday’s league meetings in Nashville, but the news became official Wednesday morning.

The NFL‘s decision continues a recent trend, one that potentially narrows the list of future draft destinations.

Pittsburgh To Host 2026 NFL Draft as Recent Trend Continues

Landing the 2026 NFL Draft is a big deal for Pittsburgh, especially when you consider the unprecedented success of the 2024 draft, which was held in Detroit. This year’s event shattered attendance records, setting the stage for future bidding wars among cities eager to host the draft.

“The roots of pro football are deep in our region,” Steelers owner Art Rooney II said Wednesday, via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. ” … We think it will be the largest visitor event in the history of Pittsburgh.”

Per The Washington Post’s Mark Maske, Rooney also said the draft likely will be held just outside of Acrisure Stadium, which is located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s downtown area.

Pittsburgh is the latest cold-weather city with an outdoor stadium to host the draft since the NFL took the event on the road in 2015. With some exceptions, the league clearly prioritizes cities unable to host Super Bowls due to stadium/weather concerns. That includes Green Bay, which will host the 2025 NFL Draft.

NFL Draft sites since 2015:

  • 2015: Chicago
  • 2016: Chicago
  • 2017: Philadelphia
  • 2018: Dallas
  • 2019: Nashville
  • 2020: Virtual (COVID-19)
  • 2021: Cleveland
  • 2022: Las Vegas
  • 2023: Kansas City
  • 2024: Detroit
  • 2025: Green Bay
  • 2026: Pittsburgh

So, with the NFL establishing a clear trend, where could the NFL Draft head next?

5 More Cities That Deserve To Host NFL Draft

Boston

The traffic would be a nightmare, but oh well. Boston (err… Foxboro) is home to the New England Patriots, one of the NFL’s marquee franchises. And with Gillette Stadium unable to host a Super Bowl, Boston makes a ton of sense as an NFL Draft host city.

The event could be held in numerous places, including TD Garden and the Convention Center.

Denver

You can say many of the same things about Denver, although the traffic isn’t nearly as bad. The city is also a year-round destination, not just in the winter, so many NFL fans would likely sign on for a cross-country trip to watch the draft and check out the Rocky Mountains.

London

This just makes too much sense. London would be an exception to the trend, as the NFL has already expressed a desire for the city to host a Super Bowl. But the league’s ever-increasing focus on London makes it a likely destination for any prominent event, including the draft.

Seattle

Seattle is beautiful during spring, making it another spot that NFL fans would love to visit. The Seahawks also are a popular, successful franchise with a dedicated fan base.

KEEP READING: Which City Has Hosted the Most Super Bowls?

How fun would it be to spend a weekend watching the NFL Draft in Seattle and driving north to check out Vancouver?

Buffalo

OK, this isn’t the sexiest destination (apologies to Niagara Falls). But Buffalo still is a fun town, and its proximity to Toronto could make it an intriguing destination for the NFL.

However, this is all about Bills fans, who deserve an event like the NFL Draft. Of all the potential host cities, Buffalo probably would produce the most entertaining product.

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