-- SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -- The NFL is returning to Chicago for the 2016 draft, which will be held April 28-30.
According to a study by the Sports Industry Research Center at Temple University, the 2015 draft generated a total economic impact of $81.6 million for Chicago. The event generated 31,000 hotel nights from visitors, plus 5,600 hotel nights from NFL staff and sponsors.
The league wants to have the event in one centralized area. While this year's draft was held at the Auditorium Theatre, more than 200,000 fans watched it at Draft Town, a three-day fan festival held in Grant Park that was considered a great success.
"We're going to do the same places, everything is going to be the same -- Grant Park, the [Auditorium Theatre]. We made the investments already and upgraded so we'll continue to do it there," Emanuel said in an interview with "The Carmen & Jurko Show" on ESPN 1000. "The NFL is happy."
Emanuel said the city has "ideas on how to make it even a bigger event."
"The weekend right before, the James Beard Foundation dinner, which is about the best chefs in the country, they host their event. So we're going to bring a James Beard winner from each city that has an NFL team. We're going to have the events bleed into each other, and we really kind of boost it up as a national event," he said.
The mayor said that no public money will be used by the city in hosting the event.
"We're glad to be back,'' commissioner Roger Goodell said.
It's the second straight year for Chicago after a long run at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
The draft also was held in Chicago in 1938, 1942-44, 1951 and 1962-64.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.