What are the Chiefs hoping to get in the 2023 NFL Draft and why is Fall Out Boy here? A casual guide to KC’s mega-weekend.
The NFL Draft is here April 27-29. Whether you care about it or not, it’s worth knowing what to expect.
Hey there. It’s possible that this weekend’s NFL Draft is, like, the most important thing that has ever happened in your year. If you’ve already got bets placed and tickets to Kelce Jam, you may not need this explainer. If you’re a Chiefs fan but don’t know the ins and outs of this mega-event taking over the city, here are a ton of important resources to walk you through what’s goin’ down out there.
The 88th NFL Draft, set to take place based out of Union Station from Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29, 2023, has flooded the city with celebrities, media coverage, events, deals, and mass exposure for our city as a whole.
This three-day circus is perhaps the one event in the NFL that is guaranteed to bring some semblance of hope and optimism to those 31 other other franchises and fandoms that aren’t named the Kansas City Chiefs.
First revealed as the host city in March of 2022, Kansas City has since won its second Super Bowl in four seasons. KC is the seventh city to host the event, as it had previously been consistently set in New York City from 1965 through 2014.
The city council approved a $3 million contribution towards facilitating the draft, which was initially projected to bring in over $100 million collectively between the city’s restaurants, retailers, transportation, as well as all food and beverage sales and, of course, the associated city taxes. In mid-April, the city council buffed that number to $125 million based on the latest economic impact report.
Much of this organization and infrastructure comes courtesy of the National Football League behemoth itself, but the majority of the city’s on-the-ground work to plan and execute the event was achieved by the Kansas City Sports Commission.
In addition to representing the city in media and planning events leading up to the draft, the KCSC has led an effort, called the NFL Draft Business Connect, focused on linking diverse, majority minority-owned local businesses and suppliers with the NFL’s draft infrastructure.
These businesses must meet a few key requirements, including but not limited to being at least 51% owned by a minority, woman, veteran, or LGBTQ+ individual and be certified, with a physical office, and who has operated in Kansas City, MO since April 2019.
The NFL expects at least 300,000 to 400,000 to attend the free event, though COVID has lowered the average attendance of many of the prior few iterations of this event. Nashville set the record in 2019 with 600,000. In the past three drafts, with all three days combined, the league pulled in well over 5 million TV viewers alone.
Aside from all that, your search engine is sure to be of some help, if your algorithms weren’t already beating back NFL Draft related emails and content updates like the second coming of the new KCI terminal.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO ATTEND?
Attending the event, for the most part, is free aside from the somewhat optional food and drink options offered within the NFL Draft zone of operation.
While most of the events, like the Draft Experience (more on that later), are free, the NFL has made it pretty damned clear that nobody is going to accomplish anything without having first downloaded and registered themselves via the NFL OnePass app.
Seriously, download the NFL OnePass app if you want to attend the event.
While much of the draft’s campus will be available for free-roaming, NFL OnePass-abiding fans, the main stage at Union Station, dubbed, the Draft Theater, will require invitations or tickets—primarily reserved by the NFL, its 32 organizations, media, staff, and select draftees plus their families. If you are doing well for yourself, ticket packages can apparently be found here.
As of April 26 at 5 p.m., the NFL website reads: “however, as [Draft Theater] seats become available, fans will have an opportunity to be selected for standing room and other seating depending upon availability. More information on backfill seating to come soon.”
WHAT CAN/CAN’T I BRING?
Outside food or beverages are not permitted inside the NFL Draft campus, but refillable water bottles are permitted for free access to the various hydration stations. Fans with medical needs, nursing mothers, or families with infants will be permitted to bring in outside food and equipment based on individual circumstances.
Permissible Bags and items:
-Clear bags smaller than 12x12x6 are permitted consistent with the NFL’s Clear Bag Policy.
-Small purses/clutch bags will be carried through screening
-Size exceptions will be made for medically necessary items
-Large bags can be secured at provided lockers
-Strollers and baby carriages are permitted, but all bags and blankets must be removed and screened by X-ray and will be physically/visually inspected.
-Small cameras and binoculars
The 2023 NFL Draft will open on Thursday, April 27 with the official NFL Draft Red Carpet presented by TCL on the Memorial Courtyard at the National WWI Museum and Memorial where prospects will make their Draft Night debut.
An overarching three-day event, the Draft Experience (noon to 10 p.m.), begins on day one as well. Presented by Panini Trading Cards, the fan-centered Draft Experience is described by the NFL itself as “the NFL’s football theme park” and features a number of events, interactive agility stations and mini-games including a fan 40-yard-dash.
“The Draft Experience will take place on the South side of the National WWI Museum and Memorial and will offer fans the chance to test their football skills, enjoy interactive exhibits and autograph sessions, and take part in photo opportunities with the Lombardi Trophy and other relics.
—Round 1 starts at 7 p.m.
—After the first round ends, at our around 10:30 p.m., Fall Out Boy will play a live show on the main stage.
—Draft Experience (noon to 10 p.m.)
—Rounds 2 and 3 start at 6 p.m.
—After the third round ends, MÖTLEY CRÜE will take the stage.
—Draft Experience (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
—Rounds 4-7 start at 11 a.m.
—The KC Smoke Show will take place on the North Lawn of the National WWI Museum and Memorial on Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Hosted by former Chief Mitchell Schwartz, this demonstration and competition features some of KC’s best BBQ, with teams from Gates, Arthur Bryants, Joe’s, Jack Stack, and Q39 set to take part.
—After the third round ends, Thundercat will take the stage, and is said to have prepared a set which will pay tribute to the city’s storied legacy of jazz.
WHERE TO WATCH:
NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes (CST):
—Thursday, April 27, starting at 7 p.m.
—Friday, April 28, starting at 6 p.m.
—Saturday April 29, starting at 11 a.m.
Visit this link for all the latest on NFL Draft coverage.
Sportsball In Brief:
After trading away a plethora of picks and star receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears in exchange for their first-overall pick, the Carolina Panthers look poised to select Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young—though Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, and Florida’s Anthony Richardson are also apparently still in the running.
View full draft pics for each team here. See below for Chiefs-specific content.
The Home Team(s):
— The Kansas City Chiefs have ten picks in the 2023 NFL Draft:
Round 1, Pick 31
Round 2, Pick 63
Round 3, Pick 95
Round 4, Pick 122 (from MIA)
Round 4, Pick 134
Round 5, Pick 166
Round 6, Pick 178 (from CHI via MIA)
Round 6, Pick 217 (compensatory pick)
Round 7, Pick 249
Round 7, Pick 250 (compensatory pick)
— The Chiefs have traded their first-round selection away in four of the last seven NFL Drafts, and could very well do so again. Fans tend to agree that their most pressing need this year is at right tackle. See the franchise’s historical draft selections here.
— The Missouri Tigers had seven players work out for NFL scouts at their Pro Day in March. The leading interested among that group is edge-rusher Isaiah McGuire, who could be a third or fourth round-pick if he falls to a team where both sides see a good fit. WR Barrett Banister, TE Kibet Chepyator, DL DJ Coleman, LS Jake Hoffman, K/P Sean Koetting, and DB Martez Manuel joined McGuire, for the March 24 workout in front of a group of NFL scouts representing 25 teams.
— Local players who are likely to be called upon include Felix Anudike-Uzomah (Lee’s Summit, Kansas State), Adetomiwa Adebawore (Kansas City, Northwestern), Nnamdi Enechukwu (Kansas City, Rice), Mitchell Tinsley (Lee’s Summit, Penn State) and Ronnie Bell (Kansas City, Michigan). The former pair could potentially be selected somewhere in the early-to-mid second round, while the rest would probably have to wait for the latter three or four rounds to hear their names called.
Road closures and such things that concern the otherwise uninterested:
Not everyone is a fan of big events like the NFL Draft and FIFA World Cup calling KC home over the next several years. This is unfounded criticism in many cases, as it has often been a concern of other cities when the Olympic Committee considers upcoming future host options.
With that said, this event will inevitably impact overall commerce and traffic in the area. Current road closures are listed below and up-to-date on the city website. Road closures will remain in effect even after the Draft ends, as crews will need time to deconstruct the stage and other infrastructure.
The following roads are closed through May 7:
—Main Street between 20th Street and Pershing Road
—Main Street between Pershing Road and southbound Grand Boulevard
—Pershing Road between Broadway Street and Grand Boulevard
—Kessler Road between Pershing Road and northbound Wyandotte Street
Also of note:
— The Visit KC guide to parking and transportation is a helpful starting point. In general, however, it’s safe to assume that a walk of at least 10-15 minutes will be required to get to Union Station if one chooses to try and safari themselves a parking spot.
— Area native Oleta Adams will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and country music artist Brittney Spencer is set to recite the national anthem for the opening festivities downtown. Another local, Lost Wax, is booked as the daily house band for the Draft Theater.
— The National WWI Museum and Memorial will be open during the NFL Draft from Thursday, April 27 to Saturday, April 29. General admission tickets are $20 (children five and under are free).
— The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, which sits across from the National WWI Museum and Memorial, will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday during the Draft. Admission is free, and visitors can view $40 million in cash and the bank’s cash vault. There will be a football-themed scavenger hunt and origami station, along with a football souvenir bag of shredded money.
Stay safe out there, have fun, and go Chiefs!