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Odds to Host 2022 NFL Draft: Boston Listed as Favorite, Washington (DC) Given 5-2 Odds, Denver Given 3-1

Boston financial district skyline
Boston is listed as the favorite to host the 2022 NFL Draft. [Public Domain]
  • The NFL has selected host cities for the 2021 and 2023 NFL Drafts: Cleveland and Kansas City
  • However, they’ve left 2022 open
  • See the odds on which city will host the NFL Draft in 2022

Last week, the NFL announced that Cleveland would host the 2021 NFL Draft and Kansas City would play host to the 2023 draft. But they have yet to announce who will host in 2022.

After seeing how many people the NFL Draft will bring to your city, it’s safe to say everyone is putting in their bid. Here’s the odds put out at BetOnline:

Odds to Host 2022 NFL Draft

Team Odds at BetOnline
Boston +200
Washington, DC +250
Denver +300
Detroit +400
Pittsburgh +500
Green Bay +1000
Atlanta +1500
Houston +1500
New York City +1500
Charlotte +2000
Chicago +2000
Minneapolis +2000
Dallas +2800
Jacksonville +3300
Buffalo +5000
Philadelphia +5000
Indianapolis +10000
Los Angeles +10000
Nashville +10000
New Orleans +10000

Breaking the Norm

The NFL shaking up where the Draft is held is kind of like an accountant who decides to get a little wild at the office Christmas party by taking off his clip-on tie and undoing the first button of his short-sleeved dress shirt.

This is a bit out of the norm for the stodgy, no-fun NFL as only eight cities have ever hosted the draft: Chicago, LA, New York, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC.

The sportsbook has DC and Pittsburgh in their top five alongside Boston, Denver, and Detroit, but it’s worth looking over the steep cliff of cities that are below the favorite locations.

The NFL Draft in Nashville was a great experience, except for those poor bachelorettes that had their parties ruined.

Big City, Little City

Ian Rappaport sees this as the NFL following a big city, little city structure, which has its merits. Including smaller cites allows the NFL to show they care about the smaller markets (even if they don’t) and let the bigger cites put on competitive spectacles.

After the top five, there is a sharp drop-off in the odds for other locations being awarded the draft in 2022. So, let’s forget about the top five for a moment and deconstruct the lower pleeb cities.

If we are going on Rappaport’s big city call, we can count out Green Bay and Buffalo (side note: the Draft will never be in Buffalo because #BillsMafia can’t even be trusted with tables let alone the NFL Draft).

I’m going to remove any big cities that have had the Draft or the Super Bowl, which leaves Philadelphia and Charlotte, and from the top five, Boston and  Denver. However, the reality is that the NFL doesn’t care if a city hasn’t hosted either event, they are looking for what that city brings.

The Heavy Hitters

Getting back to the top five, Detroit has pushed for the Draft and lost out on this round of bidding, However, according  to Jeremy Reisman:

Detroit may still be in the running for that year. Additionally, the fact that Cleveland will be the host city in 2021 suggests the NFL is willing to choose some untraditional cities to host the event, even if they’re not perceived as the “nicest” city. As long as the city provides a unique experience, it appears NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will keep an open mind

Reality and Romance

I really like Detroit for the 2022 Draft. It’s an unconventional location and has a stellar fan base. They are ready for it and even sent a team to Nashville to see how they pulled it off. With record attendance and TV ratings, they are proactively learning how to replicate the success of the 2019 NFL Draft

Boston at the top of the list is surprising to me since there hasn’t been an amicable relationship between the league and the team, let alone the rest of the NFL fans from every corner of the earth. It is an exciting and historic venue and although it pains me to say, it would be an epic place to see the draft go down.

Under the top five, I have one pick and Chicago is it. It boasts a plethora of venues for a dramatic backdrop for a dramatic night and there is magic surrounding football in that town right now. It’s ripe for a groundswell of enthusiasm by fans and is having its own coming-of-age tale. It’s a big city with big football romance and should be the choice for the 2022 Draft.

The Goodell Tightrope Walk

The organization as a whole has a lot of work to do in order to get fans back to watching football and becoming fans of the league in general (spoiler: Nope).

It’s a struggle between Goodell and ownership raking in the money and keeping fans happy. This is a tightrope walk that they will most likely fall off with one step, but they have an opportunity, and a fairly benign one at that, to garner public support by broadening the spectacle to new cites.

The NFL knows they need to shake things up but are they going to unclip that neck-tie or stand in the corner drinking non-alcoholic beer?

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