KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This year’s NFL Draft concludes on Saturday, wrapping up with an enormous outpouring of interest from fans.
Kansas City’s effort to impress the football world is being called a smash success, as millions watched from across the world, giving football viewers everywhere a look at this city.
“It’s so epic and we wanted to make memorable moments here,” one Kansas City Chiefs fan said.
The draft’s final day brought a smaller afternoon crowd to Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial. Football’s finest put Kansas City in a worldwide spotlight for three days straight. The fun of football, and this festival atmosphere, brought a sea of Chiefs red to the NFL Draft Experience, which is exactly what NFL Leaders hoped they’d get. The National Football League started taking the draft on the road in 2015. It was previously held in New York City, for the most part.
“This is the ideal layout,” Nicki Ewell, the NFL’s senior director of events said. “It’s been an amazing turnout starting at noon. We had to open the doors a little early. Every single day, actually, we’ve opened early just because it’s been such a demand from everybody.”
Big events usually involve a lot of beer being sold. Best Beverage Catering, the company contracted to sell alcohol at the draft, sold its entire allotment of beer and spirits for the week on Thursday. Joe Tinkelman, the NFL Draft Experience’s beverage coordinator, said another four trucks of beer, wine and other spirits were needed on Friday morning. Tinkelman said that included at least 14 palates of beer, which contain approximately 70 cases of beer each.
“It’s been one of these events where we’ve sold a ton of non-alcoholic and a ton of beer. Even today, they came out early ready to party and ready for these final rounds,” Tinkleman said.
Another Best Beverage Catering employee told FOX4 News one beverage tent alone had sold almost $300,000 in beer and other alcoholic drinks, the majority of which were sold on Thursday. Fans who attended on Saturday said they’re proud to have this in Kansas City, especially just months after the Chiefs claimed another Super Bowl.
“I love Kansas City showing off. This is a great spot to do it. They did a fantastic job of making it non-chaotic and just showing off our beautiful city, and we love doing it as reigning champs,” Rebeckah Weddle, a Chiefs fan from Manhattan, Kansas said.
“The world only knows Missouri for barbecue and Patrick Mahomes. Today, I feel like we got to show our greatest talent to them, and that we’re bigger than barbecue and football,” Michael Spears, a Chiefs fanatic from Kansas City, said.
“We are evolving to be a big city, you know,” another Chiefs fan said.
There was one minor roadblock after the draft ended, as severe wind forced the NFL to make those still at the draft on Saturday evacuate or take cover before a Thundercat concert, but things did resume and the concert was able to happen.
Ewell says the Draft is meant to be a unifying experience, since so many football fans can’t afford tickets to a regular season game, much less a Super Bowl. She says the NFL is pleased with what Kansas City has delivered. Next year’s NFL Draft will be held in Detroit, where the Motor City has a tough act to follow.