Fans of both the Tennessee Vols and the Tennessee Titans won't have a long way to travel to witness the 2019 NFL Draft.
On Wednesday at the Spring Meeting in Atlanta, GA., the decision by NFL team owners to approve Nashville's bid to host the upcoming Draft was ratified. The city already plays host to the Tennessee Titans franchise and is located approximately three hours from Knoxville.
The 2019 NFL Draft will last from April 25 to April 27 and is expected to take place across multiple downtown areas in Nashville.
The city will also play host to the NFL Draft Experience, an annual event during the Draft's three days in which fans are treated to exhibits, games and autograph sessions with players.
“Following an exciting and successful event in Dallas, we're thrilled to take the NFL Draft to Nashville,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “The city has a passionate fan base and offers iconic locations that will enable us to expand the Draft in unique ways.
“We look forward to working with the Tennessee Titans, the City of Nashville, and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp to deliver a memorable celebration of football to our fans and incoming players.”
The event will mark the first time in the city's history that Nashville has hosted the NFL Draft, and Tennessee Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk expressed her pleasure with the announcement on Wednesday.
“I'm so excited for the city of Nashville and so proud that we've been selected as the host city for the 2019 NFL Draft,” Strunk said. “As we all know, Nashville has a well-deserved reputation as a city that loves the big stage and loves a big party ... we're looking forward to April of next year.”
The 2018 NFL Draft was held in Dallas, TX., last month, with former Vols Rashaan Gaulden, John Kelly and Kahlil Mckenzie selected. The Draft was hosted by Philadelphia the prior year and by Chicago in 2015 and 2016.
Tennessee has had a total of 357 players selected in the NFL Draft. In 2017, six former Vols were drafted, including defensive end Derek Barnett, who was selected with the 14th pick in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles. That class marked the most Tennessee players selected in the Draft's first four rounds in 15 years.