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Pittsburgh selected as host site for 2026 NFL Draft

The NFL draft is heading to the Steel City.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home to the six-time Super Bowl champion Steelers, has been selected as the host city for the 2026 NFL Draft, the NFL announced Wednesday at the Spring League Meeting.

"The NFL Draft is one of the biggest, most-anticipated sporting events of the year, and we're thrilled to partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers and VisitPITTSBURGH for our 2026 event," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement on Wednesday. "We have a unique opportunity to spotlight this wonderful community on a global stage, benefiting Pittsburgh's economy and entertaining football fans from all markets. We know this pride of Pennsylvania will shine bright in 2026."

Pittsburgh will be the 10th NFL city to host the draft since it became a highly sought-after road show in 2015. Since then, the draft has made stops in Chicago; Philadelphia; Arlington, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; Cleveland; Las Vegas; Kansas City, Mo.; and Detroit. The 2025 NFL Draft is slated to take place in Green Bay, Wisc.

"We are excited that the City of Pittsburgh has been selected to host the 2026 NFL Draft," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. "This will be an amazing event that will highlight everything the region has to offer on a national and international level. I truly appreciate the work that has been done by VisitPITTSBURGH, the NFL, local and state officials, and internally within our organization to accomplish our goal of being selected to host the NFL Draft. We look forward to football fans from all across the country coming to enjoy our city's culture while also showcasing our rich football history and tradition in the region."

Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the NFL's seventh-oldest franchise and hold seniority over every AFC team. Their six Super Bowl championships are tied for most in the NFL with the New England Patriots, and the franchise's sustained success over the past 50-plus years is largely unrivaled.

Rooney said at the Spring League Meeting that the 2026 NFL Draft will likely take place on the outskirts of Acrisure Stadium, where the Steelers have called home since 2001. Pittsburgh's NFL home games have been played where the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers meet since 1970 beginning with the iconic Three Rivers Stadium, which sat right next Acrisure Stadium before it was demolished in 2001.

Pittsburgh will host a slate of draft-related activities during the three-day event, including a variety of community events, a concert series presented by Bud Light and the NFL Draft Experience -- the league's ultimate fan festival. The NFL draft will be an opportunity for Pittsburgh to showcase itself as an American travel destination while also enjoying an economic boom accompanied by the event.

Heralded as the league's biggest offseason event, the NFL draft has attracted over 3 million fans across the country since 2015. Most recently, the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit saw a record-breaking 775,000 fans in person and garnered more than 53.6 million total viewers.

"I don't think any of us envisioned that it would be as big as it is," Goodell said Wednesday of the traveling draft. "I think Detroit ... was incredible. The passion of the fans, their enthusiasm for the event, it was just extraordinary; it's the best way to say it.

"I think moving it around was ... one of those risk-benefit discussions that you have. We were very successful in Radio City (Music Hall). (New York) is the media market of the world -- some might dispute -- but certainly we were in a really great position there. It just turned out that the facility wasn't available in a given year, and we said, 'Now's the time. Let's go.' I don't think we're looking back. I think we're looking forward, including Pittsburgh."

The Pittsburgh draft will mark the return of the league's annual player selection meeting to the Steel City for the first time since 1948, when it took place at the Fort Pitt Hotel.

Seventy-two years later, Pittsburgh will come full circle and set the stage for one of the NFL's most highly anticipated events in 2026.

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