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Rooney: Steelers interested in hosting NFL Draft

| Thursday, June 20, 2013, 3:48 p.m.

The NFL was forced to move the 2014 draft into May for the first time in 30 years, and if scheduling conflicts persist with Radio City Music Hall, the league hasn't ruled out moving the event out New York City for the first time in 50 years.

If that's the case, Steelers president Art Rooney II wouldn't mind being first in line to play host.

“Sure, I'd like to see the draft move around (to other cities), and I would love to see it come to Pittsburgh some time,” Rooney told the team's website. “It's a great event and attracts tremendous fan interest. It would be a fun event for Pittsburgh to host, and I think our city could do a great job with it.”

Pittsburgh has hosted the NFL Draft twice before — Dec. 19, 1947, at Fort Pitt Hotel and Nov. 15, 1948, at Hotel Schenley.

The NFL has held the draft in New York City since 1965 and at Radio City Music Hall since 2006. There has been no decision made regarding the dates of the draft beyond next year.

“A variety of alternatives are being explored, teams were told, including holding the draft at Radio City or at other locations, either in the New York area or in other cities,” the NFL announced last month.

The draft has been held at 31 venues in seven cities: New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Washington, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.

Pittsburgh would make sense with its influential ownership of the Rooney family along with a strong fan base and a facility that can support such an event.

The NHL hosted its draft at Consol Energy Center last year.

The NFL draft is scheduled for May 8-10 next year, two weeks later than usual.

Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mkaboly@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

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