Tomorrow’s the big day! Philadelphia stands poised on the verge of yet another major event that will draw national attention to the City of Brotherly Love. First it was the Pope’s visit, then it was the Democratic National Convention, and now it’s the NFL Draft. It has taken months of planning and weeks of preparation – preparation that has had many city residents complaining about the inconvenience – but it’s all about to come to fruition on the famous “Rocky steps” of the Art Museum. It’s a fitting venue for the next generation of NFL superstars to kick off their pro careers.
There was no other choice for the NFL when they picked Philadelphia as a home for the draft. “We had talked about a couple different venues for the NFL and they wanted the Rocky steps and they wanted the Art Museum,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told The Associated Press. “So that’s what we gave them. It will be a terrific event.”
The steps will be a dramatic backdrop for the event, which will have seating in the open air for three thousand. It’s the first time that the draft has been held outdoors. The theater, constructed on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, will be the focal point of the NFL Draft festivities, which are expected to draw over 200,000 fans. The free fan experience, which will stretch half a mile on the parkway, is being called the largest ever such event by the NFL. To put it in perspective, that’s the length of 25 football fields!
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Fan Experience will offer something for everyone, young and old: “One of the interactives includes an opportunity for fans to test their 40-yard dash time against players. Adults and kids can kick field goals, run through obstacles or try the new 100-yard zip line.”