NFL to keep combine in Indianapolis, but league does make one big change to annual event
The NFL combine will be undergoing one major change
If the NFL plans on turning the combine into a traveling roadshow, it won't be happening any time soon. Although there had been some speculation that the NFL might be moving the combine out of Indianapolis, the league has decided to keep the event there for at least two more years.
The decision was announced on Wednesday at the NFL's annual spring meeting. Going into the week, the league's contract with Indy was set to expire after the 2020 combine, but the contract has now been extended through the 2021 combine.
After that, the league will hold an annual option, which means the NFL could start moving the combine around from city to city as soon as 2022. With the success the league has had moving the draft around, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see the NFL start moving the combine, even if a lot of people seemed to be against a potential move, including Colts general manager Chris Ballard.
"It would be foolish for us to move from Indy," Ballard said, via the Indianapolis Star. "The work that (combine coordinator) Jeff Foster does to get this organized, and what this city's able to provide, just getting the medical done, just from a logistical standpoint, is critical for us to be able to do our jobs."
Rams general manager Les Snead has also been a fan of having the combine in Indy, where it's been held since 1987.
"You know what, that's above my pay grade," Snead said. "That's a big-time decision there, but I can tell you what I do like is Indy's been unbelievable. Seeing this place grow and evolve from the start, it's obviously a very convenient way to do business."
Although the combine will be staying in Indy for at least the next two years, there will at least one major change being made to the event. Starting in February 2020, the NFL will be moving the combine to prime time. Instead of televising player drills during the morning and afternoon -- like the league has done for the past several years -- those drills will now be televised during the afternoon and in prime time on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
"We are always looking at ways of bringing more football to a wider audience," the league said in a statement. "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 has been slowly expanding the televised portion of the combine. The 2019 event marked the first time that drills were aired on network television as ABC televised two hours of combine action on March 2.
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