Senior Bowl interest growing nationally, as NFL Draft season kicks off

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"That's why it's important to grow it here, keep it here and to keep expanding and growing it. We want to give people a reason, outside of just game day, to come here and be a part of the festivities."

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Shortly after winning the national championship, Mac Jones, Najee Harris, DeVonta Smith and more made their way to the Port City for the Senior Bowl.

Each year, the top college players from all over the country see their NFL dreams start here in Mobile. As interest in the NFL Draft has grown annually, the Senior Bowl has also seen their national footprint expand.

“The real focus of tying it to the draft process has been great because it’s helped us grow nationally,” said Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy. “Hashtagging everything with ‘TheDraftStartsInMobile’ helps get the cities name out there in front of millions of millions of people across the country. We hope that brings more people in and helps our local economy.”

During the pandemic, sports have seen a decline in viewership. The Senior Bowl, however, saw their ratings go up. A sign that interest in the NFL Draft process is constantly growing.

“The Senior Bowl is the one event in our state that brings the most eyeballs to Alabama, not just Mobile,” said Nagy. “That’s why it’s important to grow it here, keep it here and to keep expanding and growing it. We want to give people a reason, outside of just game day, to come here and be a part of the festivities.”

Nagy says the goal is to make the Senior Bowl a destination event for football fans, where people from all over come to Mobile to experience the best the city has to offer.

“Right now we’re looking forward to 2022 and that game and bringing back all the events in the community like the Mardi Gras parade with the players,” said Nagy. “We want to get back to those things to include the community to bring them back in and hopefully having a full stadium at Hancock Whitney Stadium on game day is going to be great.”

And as the game continues to grow nationally, it will still remain Mobile’s signature sporting event.

“The game is staying in Mobile, that’s why we trademarked ‘TheDraftStartsInMobile’,” said Nagy. “To make the Senior Bowl game really synonymous with the city of Mobile, that’s really the most important part of our focus.”

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