Packers apply to host NFL draft in '19, '20 or '21
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The Green Bay Packers would like to host the NFL draft.
The Packers have applied to host the draft in 2019, 2020 or 2021, team president Mark Murphy said.
He told attendees at the team's annual shareholders meeting Thursday that the league views the draft as an event that can move around the country annually, similar to the Super Bowl.
The last two drafts were held in Chicago.
Green Bay is the league's only publicly owned franchise, and reports to shareholders each year. The Packers also play in the NFL's smallest market.
Murphy says hotel rooms could be an issue, though many fans attending games typically stay within an hour's drive of Lambeau Field, or even more than two hours away in Milwaukee.
The Packers had also applied to host next year's draft, Murphy told reporters after the meeting, though he indicated that Green Bay wasn't a contender.
Players report for training camp Monday, but the league is always planning ahead. The NFL plans to play a season-opening game in China in 2018, though it appears that the Packers aren't interested.
''They asked us if we were interested. I didn't even go to Ted,'' joked Murphy, referring to general manager Ted Thompson.
The Packers remain in good shape financially, having already reported an 8 percent increase in revenue to nearly $409 million in 2016. It's the 13th straight year with a new high for one of the NFL's marquee teams.
Part of a redevelopment project on property across the street from Lambeau is scheduled to open next year, including a restaurant and hotel. The Packers hope that ''Titletown'' project also draws more revenue and year-round visits to the area, and the venue would be open if the team were to host a draft starting in 2019. The team had roughly $168 million in player costs in 2016.
''Fans can be assured the Packer organization will spend every salary cap cent to bring more championships to Green Bay,'' treasurer Mark McMullen said.
The Packers and Patriots are the only two teams in the league with seven straight playoff appearances, Murphy said, two years short of tying the record.
''Thank you for your support. It's unparalleled in the NFL and we greatly appreciate it,'' Murphy said before adding with a smile. ''Let's all meet here back in February'' for a Super Bowl celebration.
The meeting was delayed about a half-hour because of storms moving through the area.
NOTES: Murphy said the team has played a ''very minimal'' role in the NFL planning to interview defensive stars Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers in connection to a media report that linked them to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The interviews were supposed to take place when camps open. Murphy said team involvement was limited to setting up interviews or working with the league office. … Lambeau Field will have a bacon-themed food concessions stand this season.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL