Skip to main content


Rooney excited for NFL Draft to come to Pittsburgh

The NFL and VisitPITTSBURGH announced on Wednesday during the NFL Spring League Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, that Pittsburgh will play host to the 2026 NFL Draft.

"Today we are here to announce that that 2026 NFL Draft has been awarded to the City of Pittsburgh," said Peter O'Reilly, NFL Executive Vice President of Club Business and League Events, during a press conference that followed the announcement. "We're thrilled that we'll be bringing this major free accessible event to the great City, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and do that with a tremendous partner in the Pittsburgh Steelers."

Steelers President Art Rooney II spoke following the announcement and shared his excitement for the city hosting the draft for the first time and the ability to celebrate the football history that is so prevalent in the city and Western Pennsylvania.

"Thanks to Peter and his staff, and really everybody in the league, for helping us to put this day together," said Rooney during the press conference. "Everybody in Pittsburgh is going to be extremely excited about hosting the NFL Draft. As we all know, the City of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania have a great tradition, the roots of pro football really are deep in our region. So, we plan to celebrate the history of football and the Mike Ditkas, the Dan Marinos, the Joe Montanas, etc., that came from our area.

"It will be extremely exciting, and we look forward to working with our community to make sure it's a great event. Obviously, the bar has been set very high lately with some great efforts by Detroit and Kansas City most recently hosting the Draft, and I'm sure Green Bay will be great as well. We're looking forward to following in that tradition."

While the exact date of the 2026 NFL Draft hasn't been announced yet, Rooney did confirm that events would likely take place outside of Acrisure Stadium and in the downtown area of Pittsburgh.

"We think it will be the largest visitor event in the history of Pittsburgh, hosting hundreds of thousands of people, and really football fans from all over the country. Certainly, Steelers Nation from all over the country we think will come for a visit, and so we look forward to hosting that and it will be an exciting time.

The Steelers are an organization that have traditionally built through the draft, so hosting the NFL Draft takes on special meaning.

"This year we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the greatest Draft in history, the 1974 Steelers Draft, which produced five Hall of Famers," said Rooney. "So we do have a great tradition with the Draft in our organization and I think that's a great part of hosting the Draft.

"As I said before, we'll be celebrating all things in terms of the great players that were raised in Pittsburgh and played the early parts of their careers in Pittsburgh. Just celebrations of all the various roots and history of the game."