Pittsburgh Selected to Host the 2026 NFL Draft

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PITTSBURGH, PA – The pick is in for Pittsburgh. The NFL today announced that the 2026 NFL Draft presented by Bud Light will take place in Pittsburgh, incorporating elements of iconic Point State Park as well as Acrisure Stadium, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The announcement was made at the NFL Spring League Meeting in Nashville, following a review of Pittsburgh’s bid proposal by the Fan Engagement & Major Events Advisory Committee and full ownership.

“The NFL Draft is one of the biggest, most-anticipated sporting events of the year, and we’re thrilled to partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers and VisitPITTSBURGH for our 2026 event,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We have a unique opportunity to spotlight this wonderful community on a global stage, benefiting Pittsburgh’s economy and entertaining football fans from all markets. We know this pride of Pennsylvania will shine bright in 2026.”

“As Governor of Pennsylvania, I have been proud to make the case for Pittsburgh to host the NFL Draft, from my direct conversations with NFL leadership at last year’s Super Bowl, to our administration’s consistent work alongside the Steelers and our local partners over the past year to showcase Pittsburgh’s great strengths,” said Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro. “Today, Pittsburgh has established itself as one of the most dynamic cities in the country – and as the birthplace of professional football, it is the best choice to host the draft. With all eyes on Pennsylvania during the nation’s 250th birthday, the Commonwealth is excited and ready to work together to host this historic draft and show the country what Pennsylvania is all about.”

The NFL Draft has quickly become one of the most anticipated sports events of the year with more than 50 million viewers worldwide. The three-day event is expected to draw representatives from all 32 NFL teams, top player prospects from the most iconic college conferences in the country and hundreds of thousands of devoted fans.

“Allegheny County is delighted to be the home of the 2026 NFL Draft. From greeting visitors at the updated Pittsburgh International Airport to showing off all of our fabulous cultural gems, we are a great place for sports fans from across the country to visit. Thank you to the host committee who helped put together this bid, we are looking forward to working with all of our partners to put on a welcoming and memorable NFL Draft,” said County Executive Sara Innamorato.

“Pittsburgh is honored to have been named the host city for the 2026 NFL Draft,” said Mayor Ed Gainey. “This once in a lifetime opportunity will allow us to showcase our city to an international audience, and it will give us a chance to say to our global fanbase, come on home to Pittsburgh. We are excited for everyone to see the transformation that has taken place, and to see Pittsburgh as more than the City of Champions, but a place where everyone is safe and welcome. A city where everyone has a chance to thrive, and where football erases the boundaries of our 90 neighborhoods, and we become one city, united, to cheer on our beloved Steelers.”

Throughout the three-day event, Pittsburgh will host a slate of Draft activities including a variety of community events, Concert Series presented by Bud Light and NFL Draft Experience – the NFL’s ultimate fan festival. Draft Experience will be free for fans, inviting them to participate in immersive exhibits and games; take photos with the Vince Lombardi Trophy; enjoy the youth-focused Play 60 Zone; shop exclusive merchandise at NFL Shop presented by Visa; and score autographs from current NFL players and Legends.

“Being awarded the 2026 NFL Draft is a testament to Pittsburgh’s rich football legacy and a renowned recognition of our city’s vibrant culture and welcoming spirit,” said Jerad Bachar, President & CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH. “Momentum for Pittsburgh as the 2026 host city is only just beginning, and we look forward to working alongside our regional partners to plan and execute a world-class event that rolls out the black and gold carpet for football fans from across the country and around the world.”

The NFL Draft marks a full circle moment for the city and its namesake team the Pittsburgh Steelers, as the beginnings of what would become the first NFL Draft took place in 1936 at the first Player Selections Meeting at the Fort Pitt Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh.

“We are excited that the City of Pittsburgh has been selected to host the 2026 NFL Draft,” said Art Rooney II, Pittsburgh Steelers President. “This will be an amazing event that will highlight everything the region has to offer on a national and international level. I truly appreciate the work that has been done by VisitPITTSBURGH, the NFL, local and state officials, and internally within our organization to accomplish our goal of being selected to host the NFL Draft. We look forward to football fans from all across the country coming to enjoy our city’s culture while also showcasing our rich football history and tradition in the region.”

The NFL Draft has become the league’s biggest offseason event. Since 2015, more than 3 million fans across the country have attended Draft festivities in person.

Most recently, the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit attracted a record-breaking 775,000 fans in person and garnered more than 53.6 million total viewers over three days.

The 2025 NFL Draft presented by Bud Light will take place in Green Bay on April 24-26, 2025.

More information about the 2026 NFL Draft, including venues, fan activations, volunteer opportunities, community involvement and more, will be posted as the event approaches at VisitPITTSBURGH.com/NFL-Draft-Pittsburgh.

Source: Emily Hatfield/VisitPittsburgh