NFL: 2018 Draft In Cowboys AT&T Stadium Tops Record $125M Financial Impact
Monday, October 15, 2018 at 03:11PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in AT&T Stadium, Dallas Cowboys, NFL, NFL, NFL Draft, finances, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

October 15, 2018: Baker Mayfield was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft April 26-28, 2018, and he already is making an impact as quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.

The Draft itself also had a major impact.

Held in AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys, the 2018 NFL Draft was the first hosted in an NFL stadium.

And with a venue that can hold more than 100,000 people, the event generated a NFL Draft record $125.2 million in economic impact and $74 million in direct spending for the Dallas region during and around April 26-28.

The numbers were unveiled by the NFL based on an economic impact report compiled by VisitDallas, using Destinations International's economic impact calculator.

"The Draft in Dallas once again raised the bar for host cities for what has become one of the most- anticipated sporting events of the year," Peter O'Reilly, NFL evp-events and club business development, said via the league.

"We are grateful to the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Sports Commission, and all of our partners for helping to create such a memorable event for our fans, clubs, incoming players and media."

The $125.2 million topped the previous mark of $95 million set during the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia.

That figure included $56.1 million in direct spending by attendees and event organizers, with about 17% of people from out-of-town, according to a report was commissioned by the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau and conducted by Temple University's Sport Industry Research Center.

A record crowd of more than 100,000 fans attended the opening day of the 2018 NFL Draft and the NFL Draft Experience on April 26. Overall, the three-day event was attended by more than 200,000 fans, according to the league.

NFL Draft 2018 data compiled from on-site attendee surveys showed that 60.5% of all Draft attendees flew to North Texas for the events and that the local share of day visitors was 85.3%.

The NFL Fan Mobile Pass also set a record for registrants for the NFL Draft ticket lottery. More than 463,000 fans from all 50 states registered for an opportunity for free tickets to one of the three days of the Draft.

The 2015 NFL Draft was held in Chicago, the first time the event was located outside of New York City in more than 50 years. It generated a total economic impact of $81.6 million, according to a Sport Industry Research Center at Temple University study commissioned by the Chicago Sports Commission. 

The Draft returned to Chicago in 2016 with similar financial results.

The 2019 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25-27 in Nashville, home of the Tennessee Titans.

“The economic impact that was created for the North Texas region is a direct reflection of the dynamic interest that the fans in Texas — and those who came here from all over the country — have for the NFL, AT&T Stadium, and the young men who were selected to be the future stars of our sport,” Charlotte Jones Anderson, chief brand officer for the Dallas Cowboys, said via the team.

"When hosting any major event, we engage all of our region to ensure the impact of the event is truly felt for years to come. We believe the NFL Draft has been one of our most successful events, specifically, from a community engagement standpoint,.

According to Anderson, “The news coverage of community outreach received more than one billion media impressions alone.

NFL Builds 2018 Draft Marketing, TV, Activation

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