KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The NFL Draft is days away and the Draft Theater and fan experience are nearly complete.
All the progress brings a few headaches for people who live or drive regularly in the area near Union Station and the WWI Museum.
The NFL Draft stage is set up in front of Union Station; it’s limited some access to the landmark and hours for some attractions inside. The NFL Draft Experience is set up on the south lawn of WWI Museum and Memorial.
“The impact will be obvious for guests. Our parking will slowly disappear,” said Karis Erwin, vice president of marketing and guest services for the National WWI Museum and Monument.
The NFL Draft Experience is where fans can play interactive games and test their skills against NFL stars. It’s also where fans will be able to snap selfies with the Lombardi Trophy and meet and get autographs from players.
The Draft Experience is free and open all three days of the NFL Draft. Fans who hope to check out the experience must download the NFL OnePass app and register.
If you plan to head down to the NFL Draft site, here’s what you need to know about street closures.
Beginning Monday, April 10, the following road closures will be in place through May 7.
- Main St. between 20th St. and Pershing Rd. (both directions)
- Main St. will remain open to streetcar and pedestrian traffic, except April 26 to 29.
- Main St. between Pershing Rd. and Grand Blvd. (closed to southbound traffic)
- Eastbound Pershing Rd. between Kessler Rd. and Main St.
- Westbound Pershing Rd. between Grand Blvd. and Broadway St.
- Kessler Rd. between Pershing Rd. and Wyandotte St. (closed to northbound traffic)
- OK St. (closed both directions)
- Memorial Dr. (closed both directions)
- Access to the National WWI Museum and Memorial will remain open from Wyandotte St. and 31st St., except April 26 to 29.
From April 26-29, all the roads listed above will be closed to all traffic in both directions.
Westbound Pershing Road between Broadway Street and Main Street have already closed since early April.
Access to and from Union Station and the West Yard Garage remain open and accessible via Broadway Boulevard to Pershing Road.
Parking will also be affected at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, especially as the NFL Draft gets closer.
Erwin advised people to look on their website for the patchwork parking and hours leading up to and during the draft.
But despite the challenges, staff said it’s worth it because they couldn’t buy this level of promotion.
“It’s really funny because our attendance here, it peaks when sports are doing well in the city. So when we win the Super Bowl — even when we have a home game, a home Chiefs game or a home Royals game — when people are in from out of town, our attendance goes up also,” Erwin said.
Draft Stage at Union Station
Crews began building the largest theater ever to be used for the NFL Draft in early April in front of Union Station.
Union Station spokesman Michael Tritt said 200 semitrailers were needed to build the theater, bringing in the steel needed for the stage.
The south doors to Union Station are closed right now, too, because of the stage buildout. But the east entrance into the building is open where people would get off of the Kansas City Streetcar to get into the building.
The Streetcar stop at Union Station will close the Wednesday before the NFL Draft begins.
The 2023 NFL Draft starts Thursday, April 27, and goes until Saturday, April 29.