The annual NFL Scouting Combine has been held in Indianapolis since 1987, and it won't be leaving anytime soon. The city and the NFL reached an agreement this year on a five-year deal to keep the Combine in Indy through 2020.
CBS4’s Mike Chappell noted that the deal guarantees the Combine in Indy in 2016 and 2017, with three subsequent years of one-year extension options. The bottom line is that the NFL took a step in ensuring that the Combine stays in the city for at least the next few years.
There could be competition for the Combine looming in the future, however. Earlier this year there was talk that Los Angeles could become a host for the event once their massive NFL complex is finished. More recently, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones said that he wants to bring the Combine to Dallas.
“We have big ambition,” Jerry Jones said, according to the Star-Telegram. “We certainly know that North Texas has a commitment to sports and, in our particular case, the kind of interest its got in football. We will advance our case for any premier opportunity the league has to have it happen in North Texas.”
Stephen Jones agreed:
We don’t think anything is too big to hope for,” Stephen Jones said. “Obviously have nothing but the greatest respect for Indy and all the things they’ve done for the Combine over the years. But, as we well know, whether it’s Super Bowls or whatever, sometimes things move around.
“Our goal is to get as many world-class things here in Frisco and Arlington that we can do. We think we have two crown jewels in AT&T stadium and now The Star, so we certainly want to get as many things to our fans as we can. Our fans deserve the best, they deserve to touch and feel the Cowboys in any way we can whether it’s the Draft, whether it’s the Combine. We’d love to do that for them.”
The Cowboys are in the process of building a state-of-the-art complex as their team headquarters, and that’s in addition to AT&T Stadium, one of the best in the NFL. Their facilities will be very impressive and likely could indeed host the Combine. The same could perhaps be true of the complex being built near L.A. too, meaning that Indianapolis likely will have competition for the event in coming years.
Indy has proven to be a tremendous host for the event because of the ease of the layout. Lucas Oil Stadium is also one of the league’s best and hosts the on-field drills, while the convenient access to the nearby medical facilities and ideal location in the midwest adds up to make it entirely understandable why the city has been the host of the annual Combine for three decades. It also means that the league might be hesitant to move the event, but as we all know, money talks, and the NFL has shown an inclination for taking things on the move before.
Obviously, the Super Bowl rotates every year, and the NFL has recently begun taking the NFL Draft on the road too. After years of holding it in New York City, the Draft has taken place in Chicago the past two years - and it could move again next year. We could see the NFL Combine follow suit in being put open for competition. That would lead to cities bidding for that event as well, which could pit Indianapolis against the likes of Los Angeles or Dallas. Obviously, Indy has proven to be a good host and therefore would certainly stand a chance of keeping it, but if the league wants to take the Combine on the road, it sounds like there certainly would be suitors to host it.