Chicago Becomes Draft Town as NFL Draft Kicks Off | NBC Chicago

Play-by-play of the NFL Draft in Chicago

Chicago Becomes Draft Town as NFL Draft Kicks Off

The highly anticipated three-day event marks the seventh time the Windy City has hosted the NFL Draft

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The NFL draft is back in the City of Big Shoulder Pads for a seventh time, expecting a much warmer reception than it got nearly 80 years ago from the very first pick in its very first draft. NBC Chicago's Lauren Petty reports. (Published Wednesday, April 29, 2015)

    Chicago officially becomes Draft Town Thursday.

    The highly anticipated three-day event marks the seventh time the Windy City has hosted the NFL Draft.

    The NFL will set up shop in the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University with an official kickoff starting at 4 p.m. and round one of the draft itself beginning at 7 p.m.

    There will be a "gold carpet" for draft prospects and their moms to walk outside the theater and a slew of events for fans and enthusiasts looking to indulge in the city’s Draft Town fantasyland at Grant Park.

    A flag football festival, Super Bowl museum, outdoor beer gardens and restaurant stands manned by culinary celebrities from Chicago's renowned food scene will trample some of the turf. Even the park's iconic Buckingham Fountain will get in on the act, lighting up with the colors of the team that is on the clock during the first two nights.

    The city’s Blue Cross Blue Shield building will also light up in support, with the words “Draft Town” on bright display.

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell arrived Wednesday.

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel relentlessly lobbied the NFL to relocate the event, then invested some of his own political capital to make sure things run smoothly.

    See the full schedule of events here

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