Green Bay Packers

Packers President Mark Murphy on bidding to host NFL Draft, London game and Rodgers 'soap opera'

As heard on ESPN Wisconsin's Wilde And Tausch

Click here to listen to the Wilde And Tausch podcast.

If all goes according to team president Mark Murphy's plan, the Green Bay Packers will host the NFL Draft in as early as three years from now.

"We've applied to host in 2022 and later," Murphy told Wilde And Tausch on ESPN Wisconsin, WTMJ's sister sports network.

"Each city is putting its own mark, its own stamp. For us, Lambeau Field would be the center of it, and our history and tradition, and with Titletown. The Resch Center would be a big part of it, and the Expo Hall as well."

The Packers have made numerous bids before for the event which has become a nearly week-long festival of all things NFL, but they are waiting for new construction to happen in replacing the Brown County Arena.

"The reason we have put it off until then is the new Expo Hall. They're just about to start construction of that. That will be an integral part of our bid."

The NFL Draft and related activities are no longer just in one location. Hundreds of thousands of people descended on Nashville to attend the draft on closed downtown streets. AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas drew tens of thousands of fans every day of the draft in 2018, and a major Philadelphia street was closed off for the 2017 festival. All those, after the league held the draft in Chicago numerous years attached to a league festival in Millennium Park.

"It's going to be difficult to get 600,000 people in this area," Murphy admitted, but said that the further development of the Titletown District would also be a big assist.

"The league is kind of treating this like the Super Bowl. It's going to go from NFL city to NFL city. They're really focusing on communities that will probably never host a Super Bowl."

Super Bowls are something that many Packers fans believe the Packers should have won more of in the Aaron Rodgers-Mike McCarthy era. A recent article by former Journal Sentinel Packers beat writer Tyler Dunne, now with national publication Bleacher Report, depicted apparent major interpersonal issues inside 1265 Lombardi Avenue.

The interview brought about a firestorm of criticism from the MVP quarterback who called it a "smear attack" in another ESPN Wisconsin "Wilde And Tausch" interview.

Murphy gave his own thoughts.

"It was almost like, 'This is all, like, soap opera stuff,' " said Murphy.

"If it was as bad as everybody said, I don't think we would have won a Super Bowl or we wouldn't have gone to the playoffs eight years in a row."

The other issue discussed on the show involved whether the Packers would ever play an NFL game in London. They are the only team not to play there, at least partially because the Packers don't want to give up a home game at Lambeau Field, and opponents don't want to give up a home game against Green Bay due to their large traveling fan base and the revenue they generate.

"The league cannot make us give up a home game. We've made that clear. We're not going to do that," said Murphy.

"The only way we're going to play in London is the league convincing a team that has a home game against us (to give up a home game)."

In the past, Murphy has floated the idea of a "17th game" on NFL schedules, which would be an international neutral-site game. That would allow all teams to keep their eight home games while playing eight in opponents' stadiums as well.


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