The Dallas Cowboys hosted the NFL Draft this year at AT&T Stadium. Is the NFL Combine next?
Cowboys executive vice president Jerry Jones, Jr. believes that dream is becoming more realistic, particularly with the opening of Baylor, Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research at The Star.
"Yes, I believe we can have the Combine here," Jones Jr. said on Wednesday at a grand opening ceremony. "Was that the reason for this to be built? Not at all. But as you sit there and think about what are the possibilities if you do build it, there’s no question that's on the radar."
Indianapolis has been the longtime home of the Combine, hosting the annual scouting event since 1987. The NFL and the city have an agreement to keep it there through at least 2020.
But the NFL could start moving it around much like it has with the NFL Draft. Frisco makes sense as a destination for it with the Ford Center now coupled with what is expected to become a leading sports medical facility.
"Everything you've ever heard is, 'Why Indianapolis?'" Jones said. "We all go there and we know how cold it is. You could pick a nicer place to go as far as that time of year. Here we are in the coldest part of the year, February, doing the Combine and why are we not doing it in LA or Orlando? Well, Indy has the medical facilities around Lucas Oil Stadium. That’s what really impacts it the most.
"With this facility right here, it addresses those issues."
It’s a 300,000-square foot facility that boasts what it calls the "TurfZone," a half-length regulation NFL football field, as well as a concussion center, imaging center, surgery suites, urgent care center, research space, outpatient rehabilitation and a pharmacy.
Owner Jerry Jones described the facility as having "a lot of meat on the bone" during the grand opening ceremony, and said it's a tool to do bigger and better things such as finding ways to make sports safer.
His son echoed those thoughts and hopes it becomes a tool to help bring the NFL Combine to town one day.
"When you build AT&T Stadium, you didn't ever think one day the draft would be there," Jones Jr. said. "As we've moved our headquarters out to The Star, I think this does nothing but create another asset to create possibilities for events to come here."