Travel Magazine

NFL Draft Town 2016 Details

By Urbanmatter Chicago @UMatterChicago
NFL Draft Town 2016

For the first time in over 50 years, Chicago hosted the 2015 draft last spring. The draft was accompanied by an all-new concept, NFL Draft Town, a completely free fan festival. Draft Town encompassed Grant Park with huge attractions, games, flag football, and general fanfare. It also allowed fans to watch the draft live on a large screen.

An estimated 200,000+ visitors attended last year’s festival, bringing in nearly $44 million in revenue between hotels, sales tax, dining, and temporary jobs. We’re looking forward to seeing how they improve upon last year’s fest as the plans are released, and we’ll have more information for you as it becomes available.

Here’s what we know so far:
  • Draft Town, the three-day football festival will be returning. This is completely free and open to the public.
  • Access to the first two rounds in the Auditorium Theatre and Selection Square is a little harder to obtain, though you can sign up to win admission until 3/25/16.
Hours of Operation:
  • Thursday, April 28: 12PM – 10PM
  • Friday, April 29: 12PM – 10PM
  • Saturday, April 30: 10AM – 6PM
Here’s a breakdown of 2015’s offerings:
  • A Super Bowl Museum featuring Bears memorabilia, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Super Bowl rings and the AFC and NFC Conference Championship Trophies.
  • The Draft Tavern Presented by Bud Light – “The hottest place to drink the coldest beer.”
  • Grant Park’s Buckingham Fountain will be lit up reflecting team colors during the Draft’s first two nights.
  • A Sweetness Simulator offers fans an opportunity to soar just like Chicago Bears legendary running back Walter Payton, (Sweetness) in a wind tunnel skydive simulator.
  • Run Like the Wind tests fans running speed alongside a 40-yard long LED screen featuring NFL stars running the 40-yard dash.
  • AFC & NFC Row/Team Houses is a mini-village featuring all 32 NFL clubs’ “Team Houses” filled with unique club content and memorabilia.
  • NFL PLAY 60 Zone offers an interactive area for kids and families that includes an obstacle course, mobile app gaming, green screen photo opportunity, the NFL PLAY 60 Bus and more.
  • Draft Town Autograph Stage featuring free autographs from NFL Legends and current NFL players. (Thursday, April 30 and Friday, May 1: 4 to 9:30 pm; Saturday, May 2, 10 am to 6 pm)
  • Chi-Chefs Kitchen will feature selections from some of Chicago’s best restaurants including Billy Goat Tavern & Grill, Black Dog Gelato, County Barbecue, Dia De Los Tamales, FEAST, Wow Bao and more.

For more information on last year’s Draft Town, you can check out our guide.

Photo Credit:  Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images via

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