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LAS VEGAS — Kansas City hosts the 2023 NFL Draft, so city leaders are in Las Vegas, seeing what they can learn about the event, process and Kansas City’s own style.

KC’s draft delegation got a firsthand look at setup and the NFL Draft Experience on Thursday with one year until Kansas City becomes the host city.

Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission and Visit KC, said this experience is like a dress rehearsal.

“You can start to visualize what this would look like, and I think we have some really creative ideas for the stage in Kansas City and how different that will be,” she said.

Nelson’s team met Wednesday and again Thursday with the NFL.

“We learned a lot about what to look for while we’re here today and tomorrow, and really I think it was eye-opening for us that we learned this morning that planning starts today,” she said.

Nelson took FOX4 through the NFL Draft fan experience, which has already drawn hundreds of football fanatics. It might seem like a monumental undertaking, but she knows Kansas City is tailormade for this kind of event.

“When you think about World War I, Union Station and the downtown footprint, that alone is 40-plus acres,” Nelson said. “Then you bring in Crown Center, you bring in the Power & Light District and all that, it’s perfect. I think this will work just fine.”

Nelson said security will be the biggest aspect of Kansas City’s planning. Another focus: They’ll have to hiring and divide roles for more than 900 volunteers.

But she knows just like Thursday night in Las Vegas, the show must — and will — go on.

“The NFL Draft is really a chameleon,” Nelson said. “It takes the flavor. It takes the size. It takes the shape of your city. And yeah, you’re seeing Vegas here. But just think about how cool that will be in Kansas City.”

And after a long day, Kansas City’s delegation will enjoy the first round of the NFL Draft and hope for some great picks for the Chiefs. They’re ready for another big day on Friday, meeting with the NFL once again.

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