The NFL Scouting Combine will remain in Indianapolis for at least another year. The league announced Thursday the event, which has been hosted in Indy every year since 1987, will continue in the Circle City through 2021, followed by a series of annual options.
Earlier this year, Visit Indy said it was competing with other cities such as Los Angeles and Dallas to host the combine beyond 2020. Chris Gahl, vice president of Visit Indy, says this year’s combine generated more than $10 million in economic impact due to an increase in fan attendance to the public portion of the event.
"We’ve been negotiating with the NFL for the last 18 months," Gahl said. "We are proud to retain this premier event for another year. We know a critical component to keeping the NFL Scouting Combine in Indy is news of the convention center expanding and the city adding new hotels, allowing the event to continue its growth. We beat out other major cities to retain this event, and we say thank you to (Indianapolis Colts Owner) Mr. (Jim) Irsay and the Colts GM Chris Ballard for their help in advocating for Indy."
In addition to the extension, the NFL says the televised drill portion of the event will transition from the morning and afternoon slots to afternoon and prime-time, respectively. That change will go into effect in 2020.
"We are always looking at ways of bringing more football to a wider audience," the league said in a statement to NFL Network. "This will enable us to accomplish the goal of reaching more fans while still fully maintaining the football integrity of the event. We will adjust the schedule to ensure a positive experience for the players and clubs."
The NFL Combine brings hundreds of collegiate football players to the city to undergo various drills, medical evaluations and interviews with representatives from all 32 NFL teams. In recent years, the league has opened up portions of the event for public viewing and added new interactive attractions for fans.