KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In less than a month, the best college football players will be waiting to hear their names called at the NFL Draft at Union Station in Kansas City.
Small businesses around the metro were already picked months ago when the Draft officially landed in the metro.
The Granfalloon is roughly four miles from Union Station but its private rooms are still being booked by companies looking to give their guests a place to eat, drink, and relax away from downtown.
“That weekend, I’m expecting it to get busy very here in Kansas City,” said Granfalloon owner Tim Caniglia. “It’s already brought some business this way but when the Draft starts, that whole weekend, it’ll be interesting how far away from Union Station they go.”
Made in Kansas City co-owner Keith Bradley says they expect to be a popular spot for fans coming into town, looking to take a piece of Kansas City home with them.
“Honestly we’re kind of preparing for it in our busier shops like it’s going to be a holiday-type weekend, maybe not in terms of sales, but definitely in terms of traffic,” Bradley said.
Made in KC has already started pulling other local businesses together to help each other get ready.
“One of the things we’ll be doing at Made in KC is kind of creating a guidebook for, here’s how to prepare for the Draft,” Bradley said. “We’re going to be creating some signage for other businesses to put in their windows.”
Small Business Administration District Director Michael Barrera has been holding similar meetings all over the region helping business owners capitalize on the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to come to town, and the roughly $100 million they’re expected to spend.
“Got to get your employees ready, is your cyber-security ready, are you following all the rules and regulations,” Barrera said. “These are all good exercises for that small business to go through.”
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Barrera says navigating the crowds and red tape will help during the World Cup in 2026 but also as the Royals probable downtown baseball entertainment district moves forward.