NFL Draft Town 2016
For the first time in over 50 years, Chicago hosted the 2015 draft last spring. The draft was accompanied by an all-new concept, NFL Draft Town, a completely free fan festival. Draft Town encompassed Grant Park with huge attractions, games, flag football, and general fanfare. It also allowed fans to watch the draft live on a large screen.
An estimated 200,000+ visitors attended last year’s festival, bringing in nearly $44 million in revenue between hotels, sales tax, dining, and temporary jobs.
This year, NFL Draft Town is back, and it’s getting a major upgrade. We were all impressed by last year’s 768,000-square-foot stretch, but this year we’ll be getting 960,000 square feet of football greatness.
With the expansion comes new scenery. While last year’s festival was closer to Michigan Ave, this year will take to the lakefront with TV sets and the draft’s “Selection Square” where picks are announced encircling Buckingham Fountain.
Hours of Operation:
- Thursday, April 28: 12PM – 10PM
- Friday, April 29: 12PM – 10PM
- Saturday, April 30: 10AM – 6PM
Here’s a breakdown of NFL Draft Town 2016’s activities:
- A 120-foot monster Ferris wheel will be housed right on the Grant Park lawn (near Van Buren Street). Not only will this be a welcomed attraction for the kiddos, it will provide killer views of the skyline and the draft as it’s happening.
- A Super Bowl Museum featuring Bears memorabilia, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Super Bowl rings and the AFC and NFC Conference Championship Trophies.
- The Draft Tavern Presented by Bud Light – “The hottest place to drink the coldest beer.”
- Grant Park’s Buckingham Fountain will be lit up reflecting team colors during the Draft’s first two nights.
- A Sweetness Simulator offers fans an opportunity to soar just like Chicago Bears legendary running back Walter Payton, (Sweetness) in a wind tunnel skydive simulator.
- Run Like the Wind tests fans running speed alongside a 40-yard long LED screen featuring NFL stars running the 40-yard dash.
- AFC & NFC Row/Team Houses is a mini-village featuring all 32 NFL clubs’ “Team Houses” filled with unique club content and memorabilia.
- NFL PLAY 60 Zone offers an interactive area for kids and families that includes an obstacle course, mobile app gaming, green screen photo opportunity, the NFL PLAY 60 Bus and more.
- Draft Town Autograph Stage featuring free autographs from NFL Legends and current NFL players.
- Chi-Chefs Kitchen will feature selections from some of Chicago’s best restaurants including Billy Goat Tavern & Grill, Black Dog Gelato, County Barbecue, Dia De Los Tamales, FEAST, Wow Bao and more.
Photo Credit: Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images via http://media.zenfs.com/