It looks as if the NFL will indeed visit Philadelphia next April.
The idea that the city will host the 2017 NFL player draft surfaced publicly in July when Rep. Bob Brady told the Inquirer and Daily News that Mayor Kenney had agreed to commit $5 million to host the three-day event.
On Wednesday, the NFL said it will make a "major announcement" on Thursday at noon at City Hall. The league had no further comment, and city spokesman Mike Dunn said, "At the moment we're not at liberty to provide specifics."
Representatives of the NFL, the city, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Eagles are expected to attend the announcement.
Next year's draft is scheduled for April 27-29. Brady said in July that a temporary stage and arena is to be built on the Ben Franklin Parkway with seating for about 3,000 spectators. The draft has been in Chicago the last two years and was previously in New York.
Philadelphia last hosted the draft in 1960 at the Warwick Hotel in Center City.
"I think it's going to be great for the city," Brady said in July. "We are going to showcase the city for the whole country again, and we'll have thousands of visitors coming in here and all the players, all the sports teams, and all the coaches and managers will all be around. It will be great. It's a big deal. It's astounding."
The draft is the most prominent event on the NFL's offseason calendar. But interest might wane in Philadelphia because the Eagles have already traded away their 2017 first-round selection.
The first round, held during primetime on Thursday night, is the marquee part of the draft. The Eagles have picks in rounds 2 through 7 as well as the Cleveland Browns' fourth-round selection.