The 2015 NFL Draft will be held next April 30-May 2 in Chicago at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.
"We're very excited for the city of Chicago, for the mayor, his staff, Don Welsh and everyone at the Choose Chicago committee," said Bears chairman George H. McCaskey.
"Congratulations to them on their hard work. This is going to be great for the NFL and it's going to be great for the NFL's greatest fans here in Chicago. It's going to be a very fan-friendly event. We're going to get people involved. It's going to be exciting."
McCaskey added that he hopes Bears fans will hear Commissioner Roger Goodell announce, 'With the 32nd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select …"
The 32nd pick annually goes to the previous season's Super Bowl champion.
The draft has been held in New York City since 1965, including the past nine years at Radio City Music Hall. The agreement with the City of Chicago provides access to the Auditorium Theatre as well as nearby outdoor spaces at Grant Park and Congress Plaza.
"There's been so much interest in the draft," McCaskey said. "Just a couple years ago who would have thought that an event of this type would have the type of viewership that it has had? It has grown into a spectacle—probably the biggest event of the offseason—and we're thrilled that we're going to have it right here in Chicago."
The last time the draft was held outside New York it took place in Chicago in 1964.
"We are excited to have fans from throughout the Midwest experience the NFL Draft, the Commissioner said in a statement. "We look forward to returning the event to the city of Chicago and working with the city, Choose Chicago, and the Chicago Sports Commission to create a week-long celebration of football for our fans. Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel and the city of Chicago presented us with numerous ways to enhance the Draft experience for our fans and incoming players."
"Chicago is pleased to welcome the 2015 NFL Draft to America's heartland," Emanuel said in a statement. "Next year, NFL fans from across the country will travel here or tune in as the future of their team is decided in Chicago. We look forward to working with the Chicago Bears, the NFL, and our neighborhood partners to make this an event that highlights our world class city and reinvests in our communities."