NFL Draft Combine Moving Out of Indianapolis?

Mar 5, 2021; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels linebacker Chazz Surratt runs a 40-yard dash at the House of Athlete Scouting Combine for athletes preparing to enter the 2021 NFL draft at Inter Miami Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting combine, an event that usually takes place in late February, will give fans and scouts a chance to look at some intriguing draft prospects ahead of the big show in April. With this information, the league is looking at giving opportunities similar to those of the NFL draft for certain franchises.

This alert could signal that the combine could potentially be moving from its long-time home in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“As first reported by Mickey Shuey of the Indianapolis Business Journal, the NFL informed all 32 teams Wednesday that it would accept bids from franchises to host the Combine starting in 2023. The move indicates that the league could be adopting a similar strategy that it has with the NFL draft, which is hosted by a different franchise every year.”

Fans Take

But reaching out to fans with the combine isn’t something that is just a goal in the U.S. As the NFL continues to build its global outreach and diversity, the Scouting combine gives fans a chance to look at international prospects. And as NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport announces via a memo he obtained on Wednesday, the combine is trying to enhance its outreach and partnership.

“The expansion of host cities continues the league’s focus on growing and evolving marquee events to reach millions of fans locally, nationally, and internationally. ‘The League, in concert with the Combine Executive Committee, is considering ways to grow the Combine as a tentpole event, while at the same time enhancing the prospect experience and partnership,’ the memo read.”

While Indianapolis has the been home site of the combine for over 30 years, the first iteration was in Tampa, Florida, back in 1982. However, Indianapolis will not give up the event easily. As a Yardbarker article notes, “The NFL Combine’s traditional home is Indianapolis, where it has been held annually since 1987. Chris Gahl, the vice president of Indianapolis tourism agency Visit Indy, said the city plans to launch a ‘highly competitive, comprehensive bid’ for multiple years of the event in order to try to keep the combine.”

Won’t Be Easy

The process sounds easy, but moving the combine may be more difficult than it sounds. One logistical failure could throw the whole event out of sorts. But with any organization, any time someone sponsors or hosts something, they always look to get the most money for it.

“It will probably be harder to move the combine around than the NFL draft is. Logistics are important for the event, as is easy access to medical facilities for prospects. That said, something like this was inevitable. The event has become more TV-friendly with each passing year, and people want to see how top prospects stack up in terms of measurements. It’s no wonder the NFL sees the opportunity to make more money off it.”

Rapaport’s details of the memo also included some instructions lists for franchises to hold events such as the combine and the draft.

“The memo also included instruction on applying to host the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft, which will also continue to cycle through different locations after once being a fixture in New York.”

The rich tradition of the NFL Scouting Combine will be forever intertwined with Circle City, USA, Indianapolis, Indiana. When it moves, the legacy will change, but the event will still have a big piece of the city’s heart.