The committee tasked with hosting the NFL Draft in Philadelphia in two weeks has reached 90 percent of its fundraising goal, meaning it’s $500,000 away from its goal of raising $5 million in private funds.
Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau spokeswoman Alethia Calbeck told Billy Penn this week that the Host Committee is currently at 90 percent of its fundraising goal. She said the group is “not concerned” about raising the rest of the funds.
Organizers say the Draft, taking place outdoors on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, will cost about $25 million to produce. The NFL will contribute about $20 million of that, and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau committed to raising an additional $5 million in private funds.
The city is kicking in a $500,000 grant from the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp, plus $500,000 in tax dollars to cover city services. Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Kenney, said the city will be reimbursed for any services that exceed $500,000 in in-kind services, regardless of when those services are used.
Ron Jaworski, co-chair of the Philadelphia Draft Host Committee, said in February (when the $5 million the group needed was 70 percent raised) that “it’s been very well received by the business community. People want to help out and make it a spectacular event.”
The cash the committee still needs to raise is much smaller than the fundraising deficit the Democratic National Convention Host Committee faced prior to its event last summer. Ten days before the DNC began, the Host Committee said it was still $3 million shy of meeting its fundraising goal — a goal it eventually met and surpassed.
This week, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau released a report that showed the economic impact generated by the DNC came in more than $100 million less than original projections.