NFL Draft Host, Kansas City, Will Be The Largest Draft Site In History

All in all, the draft site will feature 10,018 square feet of screens, 31,353,344 pixels and 1,433 LED panels.

With a footprint of approximately 3.1 million square feet, the 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City will be the biggest event site in the Draft’s 87-year history.

That number represents a million more square feet than either of the last two drafts in Cleveland and Las Vegas.

“We always want to make things bigger and better,” said Katie Keenan, the NFL’s senior director of live event operations. “When you see it in person, it’s just massive.”

That is a boon for Kansas City, as the three-day draft, which lasts from April 27 to 29, is expected to have an economic impact on the city of more than $100 million, according to Visit KC’s calculations.

That sum would come from hotels, restaurants, merchandise, transportation and food and beverage sales. Taxes on the latter will further benefit the city.

The NFL predicted around 300,000 will attend the free event, and city officials are hopeful the number could approach the record of 600,000 who attended the Nashville, Tenn., draft in 2019.

Another reason for the mammoth size is the NFL wanted the draft theater to highlight the façade of Union Station, which is known for its three large windows.

“It had to be tall enough and wide enough,” Keenan said, “that we could use the building itself as a backdrop.”

To do so, the NFL constructed its largest theater structure for the draft. The 378’ x 176’ structure is about the size of a football field.

The 2023 NFL Draft also will feature the most TV screens, including two IMAX-size screens — that flank the theater structure — for the first time in draft history. Union Station’s windows will have custom, arched LED screens.

Since the venue includes both the National World War I Museum and Memorial and Union Station in downtown Kansas City, Mo., there will be 10 screens outside, so that fans can see from farther away.

All in all, the draft site will feature 10,018 square feet of screens, 31,353,344 pixels and 1,433 LED panels.

The setup is larger but probably most similar to Philadelphia for the 2017 draft, which featured a long and narrow path from Benjamin Franklin Parkway up to the famous Rocky stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Although Philadelphia was flat, Kansas City has a hillier topography going up to the World War I Museum and Memorial.

The lawns of the National World War I Museum will be where fans can gather. The north lawn of the museum will have a viewing area and feature a Bud Light beer garden. The south lawn of the museum has the NFL Experience interactive exhibits.

The biggest-ever draft theater and stage, where the NFL rookies will embrace Goodell, is set up outside and in front of Union Station. The stage is covered, and there are indoor contingency plans in place in the case of very extreme weather.

The green room, where the rookies wait with their families to be selected, will be inside Union Station.

The entire draft site includes 7.5 miles of temporary fence line, 1.5 miles of concrete barrier, more than 500 truckloads of gear, 168 total loudspeakers, and subwoofers and more than 400,000 watts of sound amplification power.

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Featured Image: Union Station KC

Union Station K.C.MO
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