Could the NFL draft be coming to Pittsburgh? 

March 20 – The city of Pittsburgh and PA Governor Josh Shaprio are lobbying the National Football League to bring the 2026 draft to Pittsburgh. 

Shapiro sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday, where he pointed out that PA is the host of the Major League Baseball All Star Game, the Soccer World Cup, the PGA Championship, and March Madness. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll noted, “People think, oh what’s the big deal about this? Do you know that event now and if you watch that when they do it every year, they rotate cities. It’s become this huge weekend event. It’s estimated that the economic impact of just hosting that weekend NFL draft is upwards of $160 million with all the tourism and spending that goes with it. So we won’t know an answer for a while on that but that would be a big deal if Pittsburgh lands it.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “This is the same Pittsburgh that has done away with overnight watches on their city desks and we’re also not responding unless it’s an emergency in action. You know what, governor? How about no. How about you take care of the problem that you have with some of these law enforcement who are trying to stock up their shelves and take a good, hard look in the mirror as to how we got here and how we’re going to change the dynamic? If you can’t protect the people, and I don’t fault the hard working folks in law enforcement. I fault the lawmakers and guys like Shapiro and guys like Wolf that have put Pittsburgh into the squeeze that they’re in. What are you going to do? I’m going to present people to Pittsburgh right now when they’re running the problems with staffing?”

Barkdoll suggested, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if Roger Goodell responded with some of that information? Again, there’s certainly no guarantee they get this, but the point you’re raising, I think it’s possible that you could see Roger Goodell and these are team owners that will vote on this. They may look at some of those factors and say, you know what? Not now. There’s just too much going on there and we’re not comfortable having that city host the draft in 2026. We’ll see.”