An economic impact report compiled by Visit Dallas has estimated that the 2018 NFL Draft generated $125.2 million in economic impact for the Dallas region and $74 million in direct spending. The figures were compiled using Destination International’s economic impact calculator.
The 2018 draft, which was staged at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, was the first NFL Draft hosted in an NFL stadium. The estimate is the highest impact for any NFL Draft and is believed to be the first time the event has generated more than $100 million in economic impact for the host region.
“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 of events and 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.”
A record crowd of more than 100,000 fans attended the opening day of the draft and the NFL Draft Experience on April 26. More than 200,000 fans attended at least part of the three-day event.
“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,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, chief brand officer of the Dallas Cowboys. “We believe the NFL Draft has been one of our most successful events, specifically, from a community engagement standpoint. 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.”
Data compiled from on-site attendee surveys also showed that 60.5 percent of all draft attendees flew to North Texas for the events and that the local share of day visitors was 85.3 percent. More than 463,000 fans from all 50 states registered for an opportunity to receive free tickets to one of the three days of the event.
“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, Tennessee.