KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 2023 NFL Draft will take place in Kansas City in the iconic area around Union Station and the National World War I Museum and Memorial.
The event will bring together fans to celebrate one of the most-anticipated sports events of the year.
“I know our fans are going to go absolutely crazy. It’s going to be really really special,” Kansas City Chiefs President and CEO Clark Hunt said.
“We are excited to work with the Kansas City Chiefs, the City of Kansas City and the Kansas City Sports Commission to showcase the area for a week-long celebration of football that will be watched by millions of fans,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
Goodell said this year’s draft in Nashville drew 600,000 people to the city and generated $224 million for the city’s economy.
By contrast, Kansas City’s largest conference at the Kansas City Convention Center in more than a decade kicked off Wednesday. About 17,000 people are in town for the Destination Imagination Global Finals.
The only crowds Kansas City has ever seen at Union Station close to the 600,000 fans Nashville drew were the 2015 Royals World Series Parade. That event drew an estimated 800,000 fans.
“That would be a lot. Hopefully they can hold it,” said Thomas Dulovic, in town from New York for the convention.
The 2023 NFL Draft will take place right around when the new single terminal Kansas City International Airport is slated to open.
The city already has the streetcar, which would make travel from Union Station to downtown venues easier for fans of every team to check out the city and what will likely be events happening all over town. An NFL Fan Experience has already been announced.
“I think the news today has really gotten a lot of Kansas City excited, and I think you’ll see a lot of people, a lot of entertainment areas really gearing up and wanting to be involved, because this is a way to show off and so many people come to cities for this event,” Power and Light Marketing Director Rachel Waller said.
Rally House near Sprint Center is used to big crowds from the Big 12 Basketball Tournament every year. The store’s manager expects football fans from all over the country will be in search of their team’s gear and Kansas City souvenirs.
“It’s going to be a controlled madhouse,” Beau Tuttle said.
But a like a lot of people on the day of the big announcement, he’s Kansas City proud.
“It’s just great to see that the Chiefs have made that big of impact nationally and also globally,” Tuttle said.
Kansas City decorated buildings in red on Wednesday May 22, 2019 in celebration of the announcement.
“Kansas City is thrilled to have been selected to host the NFL Draft in 2023. This is what happens when we work together to make big things happen, and it’s a testament to our residents who love this city and can’t wait to welcome the legions of fans who I promise you will have an incredible time here in KC. Go Chiefs!” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said.
More information will be released at a news conference on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at Harvey’s in the Grand Hall at Union Station. FOX4 will be streaming it live on Facebook.