10 Things to Know About the NFL Draft Coming to Chicago | NBC Chicago

Play-by-play of the NFL Draft in Chicago

10 Things to Know About the NFL Draft Coming to Chicago

The 2015 NFL Draft comes to Chicago April 30 to May 2

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The organization will host numerous events in Grant Park, which will be transformed into Draft Town. NBC Chicago's Christian Farr reports. (Published Tuesday, April 21, 2015)

    The NFL Draft comes to Chicago at the end of the month for the first time in 51 years, but the event will only last for three days.

    To help you get the most out of your fan experience, we've rounded up a list of the 10 most important things to know about the Draft.

    1. Entry to Draft Town is free and open to the public.

    Grant Park will become an NFL fan's dream when it transforms into Draft Town for a glorious few days. While entry into the actual Draft selection is limited to those lucky enough to win tickets in the lottery, Draft Town is free and open to the public. With about 15 football fields worth of space and numerous activities, entry into Draft Town is not limited.

    2. A trusty Chicago chef is choosing the food vendors.

    Chef and restaurateur Graham Elliot was designated the official "culinary curator" for the Draft. That means he's in charge of picking which food vendors and local Chicago chefs will set up shop in Draft Town. Attendees can also expect to see food stands from Billy Goat Tavern and Grill, Wow Bao, County Barbeque, Black Dog Gelato and Dia De Los Tamales.

    3. Street closures will complicate commuting.

    Several streets are scheduled to close beginning April 21 and lasting until May 8. Be sure to check the list of street closures before heading to Grant Park in a car.

    4. You can soar like legendary Bears running back Walter Payton.

    Inside Draft Town, football fans will find a tunnel sky-diving simulator that allows Payton devotees to strike a football pose and fly like their hero. The device is called the "sweetness simulator" to invoke the running back's NFL nickname.

    5. You can drink beer and support your team with fellow fans inside Draft Town.

    A portion of Draft Town will be dedicated to Draft Tavern, where fans can choose among more than 50 kinds of beer on tap.

    6. You can join the game in Draft Town's flag football tournament.

    Grab some friends and form a flag football team to compete in Grant Park. This is the first year the NFL is hosting a flag football tournament at the Draft. Around 800 adults and children are expected to participate. Be aware there is a cost, however. Entry into the tournament is $250 per team.

    7. Super Bowl super fans can enjoy a pop-up museum dedicated to the biggest NFL event of the year.

    A Super Bowl museum will pop up in Draft Town and feature memorabilia from the Chicago Bears as well as the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Super Bowl rings and the conference championship trophies.

    8. The three-day festival will end with a concert.

    The music act has not yet been announced, but a concert will conclude the three-day Draft Town festival. Tickets are not requried for entry, but the viewing area will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

    9. You could run into some famous faces inside Draft Town.

    Dick Butkus, Jim Kelly, Ickey Woods, Ty Law and Charles Haley are among the NFL celebrities that are expected to make appearances at various Draft events.

    10. Fans can mingle with each other in each of the NFL clubs' "fan caves."

    All 32 NFL clubs will have a "fan cave" in Draft Town divided into two sections: AFC Row and NFC Row. Inside these clubhouses, fans will find memorabilia specific to their teams as well as other like-minded fans.

    The 2015 NFL Draft will be held in Grant Park and Roosevelt University from April 30 until May 2.

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