Charlotte is swiftly emerging as a strong contender to host one of football’s most important events in 2026, the NFL Draft, after officials visited the city to discuss its candidacy and potential earlier this month. In recent years, the Queen City has established a reputable image as a host to major professional sporting events and has no plans of slowing down in the foreseeable future. The state is also making head way to launch North Carolina sports betting apps, another potential feather in their cap to attract The Shield.
From the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at the Spectrum Center to the 2022 Presidents Cup held at the Quail Hollow Club, these events have proven economically successful for the city’s tourism sector.
To add to the excitement, the city’s promising sports future includes the NFL’s 2023 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young and the Hornets' prospective No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Those developments have helped push Charlotte as a popular destination for the average sports fan and encourages officials to consider the city as one of the best marketable options.
Inspired by the recent report from Axios Charlotte that NFL leaders are considering the city as a potential site for the NFL Draft as early as 2026, BetCarolina.com came up with hypothetical odds of when the Queen City will host the event. Will the site be a favorite across North Carolina sports betting? Read on to find out.
When Will Charlotte Host The NFL Draft?
Queen City: Hotspot For Average Sports Fan
As of now, Charlotte residents will need to wait at least three more years to welcome the 2026 (+200) NFL Draft.
Ever since the NFL opted out of New York City in 2015, the draft’s home since 1965, the league has aimed for larger sites in different states due to the increased demand and popularity of the event. Since then, there have been seven different host cities in the past nine drafts — Chicago, Philadelphia, Arlington, Nashville, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and the most recent, Kansas City.
That list is set to expand with the 2024 NFL Draft hosted by Detroit and Green Bay the following year. Therefore, Charlotte’s potential hosting opportunity could be as early as 2026, with the more likely option happening in 2027 (+120).
The earlier option is considered to be too quick of a turnaround as other major cities like Miami, Tampa Bay, or Los Angeles are in play and perhaps better qualified. However, 2027 will allow Panthers owner David Tepper enough time to present his proposal, vision, and commitment to the sport and the city. Several years into his ownership, it's safe to say Tepper hasn't exactly delivered a sterling product to fans or the league on and off the field. But this year, the Panthers playoff chances are looking up for the first time in a long time. If Tepper’s investments in the Panthers push the team to postseason victory and if Bryce Young proves to be a commercial success for the city, then Charlotte would become a very attractive draft host.
In a city with a rich, traditional football culture, residents will eagerly anticipate this event. Not only is it a financial success, but it will put Charlotte on the map for American cities to visit.
Stay tuned with BetCarolina.com for Panthers Super Bowl odds, as well as the latest news on the Charlotte Hornets and other pro Carolina teams.