The first NFL Draft hosted at an NFL stadium proved to be a rousing success in both economic impact and attendance as the 2018 NFL Draft held April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium posted record numbers. According to the economic impact report compiled by VisitDallas, utilizing Destinations International’s economic impact calculator, the 2018 Draft generated $125.2 million in economic impact for the Dallas region during the 3-day event and $74 million in direct spending. This marks a new record for the NFL Draft’s economic impact and the first year that the NFL Draft generated more than $100 million in economic impact for its host region.
The Destinations International calculator is an industry-wide standard that enables the determination of the economic value of an event hosted by the city and its impact on the local economy based on measurements adopted by destination marketing organizations nationwide.
“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,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL Senior Vice President, Events & Club Business Development. “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 2018 NFL Draft attracted football fans of all ages for the largest free football festival in league history and has grown into one of the biggest sporting events of the year. A record crowd of more than 100,000 fans attended the opening day of the NFL Draft and the NFL Draft Experience on April 26, making it the highest-ever attendance for the opening day of the Draft. Overall, the 3-day event was attended by more than 200,000 fans.
“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,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, Chief Brand Officer of the Dallas Cowboys. “Not only did the news coverage of community outreach receive more than 1 billion media impressions alone – but the Draft touched more people than ever before. The NFL Draft provides one of the greatest platforms for a region to engage entire school districts, partners and communities as it’s an event that, through the game beyond the field, can make all dreams come true.”
“In addition, 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.”
Data compiled from on-site attendee surveys also 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.
“Dallas has a great history of hosting premier sporting events and we were honored to partner with the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys to provide this opportunity for our communities,” said Monica Paul, Executive Director of the Dallas Sports Commission. “From the Draft Theater inside AT&T Stadium to the NFL Draft Experience outside, to the community engagement, it was an unforgettable event for football fans from all over the country.”
The 2019 NFL Draft will take place April 25-27 in Nashville, TN.