Since it last staged the draft at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in 2014, the NFL has created a massive roadshow around its premier offseason event, the NFL Draft — and the 2023 edition in Kansas City will be the biggest yet.
The league is putting the finishing touches on its draft theater in front of KC’s iconic Union Station. The theater is the size of a football field, the largest venue the NFL has ever built for the event.
Fans unable to gain access to the theater can access a viewing area at the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The “draft experience” will provide 10,018 square feet of screens throughout — the largest volume the league has ever used.
The event plans to occupy 3.1 million square feet of overall space and expects 300,000 visitors through the weekend — over 100,000 have already registered for free.
The 2019 NFL Draft generated a record $132.8 million for Nashville, and Kansas City hopes to generate over $100 million from this year’s festivities — a welcome boost for a city with a population of just over 500,000 as of the 2020 U.S. census.
“We’re expecting massive fan support in Kansas City,” ESPN VP of production Seth Markman told FOS. “It’s now become a thing where each city is trying to outdo the last one. It gives more energy to the players on site, but also to our broadcasters.
“It’s almost like being at a game now.”