There is, however, a potential stumbling block, and it's the same one that cost North Carolina the chance to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Game and NCAA tournament games. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called for a special legislative session to consider a bill regulating the use of public bathrooms by transgender people. The NFL has spoken up in opposition to such a bill, saying after Super Bowl LI in Houston that it could cost the state of Texas future Super Bowls, so it makes sense that it would feel the same about the draft.
"If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Dallas Morning News after the Super Bowl.
North Carolina partially repealed its bathroom law, which would have required transgender people to use the bathrooms corresponding to their gender birth, and the NBA has said it now plans to award the 2019 All-Star Game to Charlotte.
The NFL isn't likely to award the draft until "later this summer/early fall," McCarthy said, and, by then, the state's intent should be clear. If the bill passes, it would take effect in September.
"The NFL embraces inclusiveness," McCarthy wrote in an email in February to the Houston Chronicle, reiterating a stance the league has taken before. "We want all fans to feel welcomed at our events, and NFL policies prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard."
Three years ago, the NFL threatened to move a Super Bowl. As Super Bowl XLIX inched closer, the NFL was similarly clear about Arizona's controversial bill over denying services for gay people. "Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email then. "We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time."
The host committee was less measured: "We do not support this legislation," it said in a statement on its website. Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill.
In 1990, the NFL moved the 1993 Super Bowl from Arizona because of its refusal to recognize the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday as a state holiday. In its decision, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the league wanted to stay out of the debate.
"I do not believe playing Super Bowl XXVII in Arizona is in the best interest of the National Football League," he said at the time. "Arizona can continue its political debate without the Super Bowl as a factor."