The NFL Draft will be in Philadelphia at the end of the month thanks to roughly $25 million from the league and several other sources, including a half million dollars from the city.
Because the events take over the Philadelphia Museum of Art area and most of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the in-kind contribution will be spent on additional security, emergency management services and sanitation, among other things.
Someone has to pay for keeping fans safe during the event and cleaning up all the trash after its over.
City officials say the money is well spent.
“We stand to benefit off a strong economic impact. We’re putting the city on a world, televised stage,” said Mayoral spokeswoman Ajeenah Amir.
Some overtime for police officers and firefighters is built into the city’s contribution. Under the city’s deal with the NFL, the league will reimburse any costs that push the total above $500,000.
Overtime is expected to trigger a reimbursement. Other city services may also bump up the overall cost to the city.
The NFL, the richest sports league in the U.S., will cover the “lion’s share” of the event’s price tag — roughly $20 million.
The rest will be covered by a combination of locally generated resources through the Philadelphia Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
Jeremy Jordan, director of the Sports Industry Research Center at Temple University, said it’s standard for cities to make some kind of contribution when a big event comes to town. Especially when that city is competing with others to host the event, such as the draft.
“As you put together your bid package, you identify things that you’re able to cover. I would imagine it makes your application more or less competitive relative to others,” said Jordan.
Likely less. And given the economic benefit the draft can bring to a city, the NFL wouldn’t have a hard time finding another place to play host.
City officials project an $86 million injection from the three-day event as an estimated 200,000 people descend on the city.
That’s about what Chicago took in, according to analysis completed by Jordan and a Temple University colleague. The Windy City hosted the draft the last two years.
“Our summation was that it was a good return on investment,” said Jordan
The final figure could be even higher because of Philadelphia’s central location between New York and Washington, D.C. — two cities with big, dedicated NFL fan bases.
The draft runs from April 27-29. It will air on ESPN and the NFL Network and can be live-streamed on NFL.com, NFL Now and Watch ESPN.