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Pittsburgh Steelers Win Bid to Host 2026 NFL Draft

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Pittsburgh Steelers

For the first time since December of 1947, the City of Pittsburgh will host the NFL Draft.

The NFL announced on Wednesday that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ bid in conjunction with Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh was approved for the 2026 NFL Draft.

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.

“The visibility of downtown has to be very quite apparent,” VisitPittsburgh CEO Jerad 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.”

The draft will provide an astronomical economic boost to the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. 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.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald told Jenna Harner of WPXI that he expects a similar economic windfall and attendance numbers that Detroit experienced.

“We estimated the economic impact to be anywhere from $100 to $150 million. I think last year it was about $165 million in Kansas City that they estimated and we could even exceed that,” Fitzgerald said.

“We’re estimating there’ll be over 300 to 350,000 visitors that would come to Pittsburgh, and putting an economic impact anywhere from 100 million to $150 million. And that’s I think being actually somewhat conservative.

Green Bay is set to host in the 2025 NFL Draft next spring. The draft was held in New York City from 1965-2014, but with the interest in the draft exploding, the league decided to move the event outdoors and explore other NFL cities. In addition to Detroit, the draft has been held in Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Nashville, Cleveland, Las Vegas and Kansas City since 2015.