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On the clock? Minnesota Vikings submit application to host NFL Draft

A general view of the draft theater during the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is moving the draft around the country and Minnesota wants in on the action.

Vikings executive vice president Lester Bagley said Monday the team has applied to host the NFL Draft in 2022 or 2023. The application was submitted in October.

The Vikings want to stage the three-day event at U.S. Bank Stadium and at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan, the new Vikings practice facility that Bagley said is on schedule to open March 1, 2018.

“We think, obviously, we have a great community, great hospitality, great hotels, restaurants,” Bagley said. “We think it would be an ideal spot to host an NFL draft.”

After holding the draft in New York from 1965-2014, the NFL announced plans to move it around. Chicago was the host in 2015 and 2016, and it was in Philadelphia last month.

The site has not been selected for 2018, but Philadelphia could get it again. The NFL announced that a record of more than 250,000 fans attended last month’s draft.

The application is for 2022 at the earliest because U.S. Bank Stadium is the site of Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, 2018.

“It helps us get through the Super Bowl and then turn our attention to thinking through what the logistics of an NFL draft in our market would look like,” Bagley said.

The additional time also allows for the completion of the Vikings’ new headquarters in Eagan. Bagley said the steel work is almost done and about 100 construction workers are on site each day.

Bagley said he has been told by an NFL official that the league is still working through how it determines draft sites.

“There is great brand value and economic impact for being a host city for the NFL draft,’’ Bagley said. “There’s also an opportunity to put together a unique Minnesota experience for the draft if it were to come to this market.”

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