Shortly after news broke that other teams can bid on hosting the NFL scouting combine, our first reported candidate has emerged.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to enter a bid.
Next year's combine will be in Indianapolis, the city that has annually hosted the event since 1987. This was the only year there was no combine since 1984, but that was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2023 scouting combine will be the first one up for grabs. Indianapolis is expected to try to keep it. Teams such as the Las Vegas Raiders and the two Los Angeles franchises, which have new stadiums and big-market cities that could expand the event, also might be in the mix.
The addition of the Cowboys to the party isn't shocking. The Cowboys have hosted a Super Bowl and an NFL draft at AT&T Stadium, and their team facility — The Star — is a 91-acre facility equipped with two indoor practice fields (including one with a seating capacity of 12,000 people), two additional outdoor fields, a 300-room hotel on site and a medical facility.
When The Star was built (at a cost of $1.5 billion), it was done so to give the Cowboys a world-class team facility that dwarfs most others around the NFL. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also built it as an attraction for league and other events, and it wouldn't be surprising if Jones had the combine as an event in mind.
That day could happen as soon as a year from next February if the Cowboys win the bid.
The problem with the Cowboys' option: Logistics. The report indicates that part of Dallas' bid was pitching the use of The Star (in Frisco) and AT&T Stadium (in Arlington). Those two facilities are 37.6 miles apart, according to Google Maps.
When Dallas/Ft. Worth hosted Super Bowl XLV, Media Day and game-day activities occurred in Arlington with the majority of the week's events happening closer to downtown Dallas, a distance of roughly 20 miles. Other than unexpected snow hitting the city early that week, which brought traffic to a crawl, most of the events went off without a hitch.
The Cowboys will have competition to host the combine, and teams can bid on hosting for multiple years. It would be easy to see the NFL giving serious credence to Dallas as a strong option.
Prior to Indianapolis becoming the annual host to the event, the first combines were staged in New Orleans (1984, 1986) and Arizona (1985 in Tempe).
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