Dallas Cowboys

Dallas mayor praises upcoming NFL Draft, even though it's in Arlington

While Dallas hosted the NFL Experience interactive theme park during the 2011 Super Bowl, the city is taking a bit of a back seat for the 2018 NFL Draft on April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium.

"It's Arlington and Frisco, they're doing that," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Thursday at the AT&T Byron Nelson kickoff luncheon. "But a lot of hotel rooms are being sold. So, we're the backbone, even if the event happens in Arlington or Frisco or Fort Worth.

"The support system that we have, restaurants and retail and hotels are all full, and so we're very excited about it."

The annual PGA Tour event is celebrating its 50th year, and it returns to Dallas — and Trinity Forest Golf Club — after 25 years in Irving.

"Dallas, we're coming home," tournament chairman Eddy Moore said.

The Nelson is May 17-20. Early commitments include defending champion Billy Horschel, 2016 Nelson winner and current Masters champion Sergio Garcia, 2008 champion Adam Scott, and Graham McDowell and Dallas's own Jordan Spieth.

The Fort Worth Invitational, May 24-27 at Colonial Country Club, follows the Nelson. Colonial is without a title sponsor for the first time since 1995.

"The Colonial is, from a heritage standpoint with Ben Hogan, is the greatest counterpoint and bookend with Byron Nelson and the AT&T," Rawlings said. "Now with us being a links course the Colonial being in a place where it's treated in old-style, it's a perfect place that I know is going to get the sponsorship it needs."

Rawlings likewise is pleased the Nelson is back in Dallas. He recalled attending the Nelson when it was held at Preston Trail Golf Club.

"I remember as a 25-year-old on [No.] 16 at Preston Trail, and walking up to the beer tent," he said. "I looked over and it was Arnold Palmer sitting right there — at a table right there. I remember thinking this is the way Dallas is, this is great."

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