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2026 NFL Draft

Report: Pittsburgh Steelers Front-Runners to Host 2026 NFL Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the front-runners to land the bid to host the 2026 NFL Draft, with an announcement expected Wednesday.



Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Draft
People gather at the NFL Draft Theatre for the second round of the NFL football draft Friday, April 30, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

It looks like the Pittsburgh Steelers are set to bring home the NFL Draft. Pittsburgh is considered the front-runner to land the 2026 NFL Draft, according to a report by Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports. Pittsburgh and Denver are reportedly the two cities still in the mix to gain hosting rights to either the 2026 or 2027 drafts. The winners of those bids are expected to be announced on Wednesday during the NFL spring meetings in Nashville.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have submitted a bid to host either the 2026 or 2027 NFL Draft in conjunction with Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh, and their bid is one of two that seems headed toward acceptance. More than 20 cities have reportedly shown general interest in hosting a future draft, but Pittsburgh appears to be on the short list of cities that could be awarded one this week.

“We continue to be optimistic about it,” Steelers president Art Rooney said at the previous NFL owners meetings in Orlando.

The Pittsburgh plan would involve a draft stage on the North Shore alongside Acrisure Stadium, with other locations such as Downtown and Point State Park hosting other events. VisitPittsburgh CEO Jerad Bacher said that the city’s plan is advanced in terms of its timeline compared to others the NFL is usually considering, which could be a positive sign for the Steelers moving to the front of the line for the two-year bid process.

“The visibility of downtown has to be very quite apparent,” Bacher said to our partners at WPXI last week. “So the front of the stage where the viewers would be looking into at the front of the stage would be facing downtown. You could see the stage being located just on this side of Acrisure Stadium facing the downtown area.”

Detroit hosted the 2024 NFL Draft, and saw an estimated $160 million economic windfall from doing so, while setting an all-time attendance record, with 775,000 people visiting the Motor City for the three-day event in April.

Green Bay is set to host in the 2025 NFL Draft next spring. It has also recently been held in Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Nashville, Cleveland, Las Vegas and Kansas City, The draft was held in New York City from 1965-2014, most frequently at the Theater at Madison Square Garden and the Radio City Music Hall. Pittsburgh has held the draft twice in the past, in 1948 and 1949.