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City Spending $3M for NFL Draft, Big Economic Payoff Expected

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(UPDATED Feb. 10 with more details from an NFL press release:)

“In partnership with the Kansas City Sports Commission and the Kansas City Chiefs, the NFL today released the first renderings of the 2023 NFL Draft presented by Bud Light that will come to life in Kansas City, April 27-29.

The league previously announced that 2023 NFL Draft will take place in Kansas City in the iconic area around Union Station and the National WWI Museum and Memorial and will bring together fans to celebrate one of the most-anticipated sports events of the year.

The Draft Theater, which will act as the hub for all Draft activities, will be built in front of the iconic Union Station with general admission fan viewing on the North Lawn of the Museum and Memorial.

As part of the event, the NFL Draft Experience – the NFL’s football theme park – will take place on the south side of the Museum and Memorial and will allow fans to test their football skills, enjoy interactive exhibits and autograph sessions, and take part in photo opportunities with the Vince Lombardi Trophy and all 56 Super Bowl rings.

NFL Draft Experience is free all three days off the event and NFL OnePass registration is required to enter and will be available in the coming weeks.

Draft Experience hours of operation –

Thursday, April 27: 12 PM – 9 PM CT (post-concert)
​​​​​​Friday, April 28: 12 PM – 9 PM CT (post-concert)
Saturday, April 29 – 9 AM – 6 PM CT (post-concert)
The 2023 NFL Draft will open on Thursday, April 27 with the official NFL Draft Red Carpet on the Memorial Courtyard at the National WWI Museum and Memorial where prospects will make their Draft Night debut.”

More information can be found here

By Kevin Collison

This April’s 2023 NFL Draft will cost Kansas City taxpayers $3 million, but is anticipated to generate an economic impact of about $102 million in direct spending by the thousands of fans expected to attend the downtown event.

The Kansas City Council is being asked this week to approve the first $1.5 million installment of a $3 million total ask from the city by organizers.

The NFL Draft will be held April 27-29 and is expected to draw 300,000 people.

Kathy Nelson, executive director of the Kansas City Sports Commission, said the city contribution will go towards support services including security, weather preparation, volunteers and shuttles for the media expected to cover the event.

“When we bid on this, that was part of the commitment to fund part of the events related to the draft,” she said. “It’s a wide range of things.”

The NFL Draft and Experience activities will be spread out from Union Station to the Liberty Memorial lawns. (Image from City Council presentation)

Nelson said an additional $2 million is being raised privately by her organization to support hosting the event. Jackson County also is being asked for financial support.

This is the first time the NFL Draft and NFL Draft Experience has been held in Kansas City and the three-day affair is expected to draw considerable national attention to the city. Last year’s draft was held in Las Vegas, next year’s will be in Detroit.

“Not only will fans from around the country be traveling to experience the NFL Draft and NFL Draft Experience, but millions of viewers will see Kansas City in the national spotlight on NFL Network, ESPN and other major networks,” Nelson said in an earlier press release.

The main stage for the NFL Draft will be in front of Union Station. The Draft Experience will be on the lawns of Liberty Memorial and the National World War I Museum.

The Draft Experience is scheduled to begin noon April 27, with a red carpet show at 4:15 p.m. The first night of the draft will start at 7 p.m.

Events will continue at noon Friday, April 28, with the Draft Experience. Draft rounds two and three will start at 6 p.m.

The three-day event continues on Saturday, April 29, with the Draft Experience opening at 10 a.m. and rounds 4-7 of the draft starting at 11 a.m.

More information can be found on the KC Sports Commission website here.

Another rendering of the planned NFL Draft stage. (Rendering from the NFL)

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