The NFL Draft Kansas City, Missouri 2023
Just as memory of recent Chief’s Super Bowl parade party begins to fade, we prepare ourselves for the “Next Big Thing” for sports and Kansas City. The 2023 National Football League Draft, an extravaganza that organizers predict, will draw more visitors than any single event in the city’s history. The multi-day party, from April 27 to April 29, will take place in the area around Union Station and the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The history of the NFL Draft has come a long way since it’s intital event in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia in 1936. By the 1980’s, NFL began televising the event from historic Radio City Music Hall in New York City. After moving from “The Big Apple” to various cities, it has become a coveted event for cities ever since. Kansas City was selected in 2019 to host the event this year. City officials have been working on logistics for such an undertaking since 2022. This year’s draft will not only contain the broadcast elements, wall-to-wall media coverage and enough content to fill hours of sports programming discussing the exciting “Who’s going to choose who” element of draft but will also feature interactive exhibits, exclusive merchandise, additional entertainment and autograph sessions. These events are expected to be highlights as they are free to fans. Like recent Chief’s Super Bowl Parade officials anticipate up to 350,000 depending on the city from all over the United States for this year’s event, But that might be an underestimate; more than 600,000 fans participated in events in Nashville in 2019. More than 10 million people tuned into TV networks to watch the draft in Las Vegas last year, and this year, ratings are expected to surpass that. In addition to a multiday advertising tool for the city, local businesses are looking to benefit as influx of people will be bringing the expendable income, resulting in a significant economic gain for the region. Kansas City and the NFL anticipate this year’s event will bring north of $100 million in direct spending towards the city’s economy. Hotels, restaurants, and shops across the Kansas City metro will benefit from the increased number of tourists. Another aspect that will undoubtedly make this event a success is the appeal to non-football fans. The draft will also include a concert series that nonfootball fans can enjoy, according to the sports commission. And locals don’t need to await news of the draft picks to appreciate the prospect of downtown Kansas City alive with people, music, and fun.
Story by: Barry Linduff/Jeremy Scherle