KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After nearly six weeks of construction, work on the NFL Draft theater in Kansas City is nearly finished.
According to the NFL’s Senior Director of Live Events, Katie Keenan, the Draft Theater in front of Union Station is the largest stage the NFL has ever built for a draft. The structure is the same size as a football field and has support beneath the surface to hold the weight.
Keenan said the NFL started scouting locations for this year’s draft seven years ago and found Kansas City to be the perfect location.
“Kansas City has just been such a tremendous host,” Keenan said. “This site is fantastic, right. You see the beautiful Union station behind us. We’ve got this beautiful natural amphitheater here on the north lawn.”
The NFL Draft Experience will open to the public starting at noon Thursday, and the draft picks will start at 7 p.m. and go until 10:30 p.m.
In addition to autograph signings and interactive activities, there will be a live concert following the draft picks each night. The NFL is expected to release a list of those performers in the next couple of days.
Keenan said draft picks will start their night at the Loews Hotel and then walk the red carpet by the World War I Museum before they’re escorted inside Union Station.
The event’s capacity is 60,000 people, and right now more than 100,000 have registered for the draft on the One Pass app.
Each fan who wants to go inside the NFL Draft Experience must register through the NFL OnePass app. While admission is free, fans will not be allowed inside without registration.
“Food and beverage, music, kind of something for everyone you know here at the draft site. Obviously, if you’re an avid football fan you’re hoping and wishing and dreaming of who your team is going to get here on the stage, but you know even if you’re not,” Keenan said.
The NFL is asking fans to enter through the main entrance off Wyandotte Street at the end of the Liberty Memorial Mall. Fans will have to go through security where they will have a clear bag policy in line with the NFL’s regulations.
There is a contingency plan if there’s inclement weather. All activities would move inside Union Station and draft selections would move inside the museum.