The NFL descended on Chicago this week for the annual NFL Draft, and fans looking to be a part of the action will find plenty of activities as the city becomes “Draft Town.”
While the main action will take place on Thursday and Friday at the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University, Draft Town will feature all manner of fun for fans all weekend, and it will be free of charge to get in.
For fans looking for memorabilia, Draft Town, which is situated in Grant Park, will have the Lombardi Trophy and a travelling museum of artifacts from the league’s history. There will also be plenty of items from the College Football Hall of Fame if fans are interested in seeing what players did before they got to the big time.
Fans can also check out replica locker rooms, and they can get free autographs from a rotating group of athletes from the league’s past and present.
For fans more interested in showing off their athletic prowess, the league will have their needs covered. An NFL Combine area will be featured in Grant Park, with fans getting the ability to test their vertical jumps and their 40-yard dash times against the league’s top prospects.
Kids will be able to do even more than that, as the league has set aside areas for their Play 60 initiative. Football clinics will take place all weekend, and there are plenty of interactive exhibits for kids who want to hone their pigskin skills in the Windy City.
Finally, there are even areas where fans can get an authentic taste of Chicago, with the Draft Town Tailgate serving unique fare from around the city.
For fans looking to head downtown to the festivities, they’ll have three days to take in the sights. Thursday afternoon, Draft Town will throw open its doors at noon and will remain open until 10 p.m., with the same hours in place for Friday.
On Saturday afternoon, when the NFL holds the fourth through seventh rounds of the draft in Selection Square (near Buckingham Fountain), the gates will open at 10 a.m., and the park will remain open until 6 p.m.