NFL Draft: Huge Success in Philadelphia

A young boy participates in one of the many activities available at the NFL Draft
A young boy participates in one of the many activities available at the NFL Draft

On the weekend of April 27th to the 29th, the annual NFL draft took place along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. The change for the NFL draft was much needed, because the event was held in New York City for 50 consecutive years, then held in Chicago for the last two years. It was the first time that the draft was held in Philadelphia in over 60 years, before the Super Bowl was created. The stage of the show was constructed at the base of the famous Philadelphia Art Museum steps. Lined along the shady boulevard were tents that housed great attractions for fans, young and old, to enjoy on a beautiful weekend in the city. Attractions included meet and greet with fan favorite current players and football legends, the opportunity to see the Vince Lombardi Trophy and Super Bowl rings in person,  an obstacle course, and a collection of authentic NFL memorabilia.

Among the crowd of thousands of football fans, waiting to see their future players being introduced to the league for the first time, were mainly supporters of the local Philadelphia Eagles. However, there were fans of every team around the country in attendance coming to support their team. The attendance totaled to over 250,000 fans in attendance.

Interestingly enough, for a city whose reputation as a fan base isn’t the greatest, there were no arrests at all during draft weekend, which truly highlights Philadelphia’s nickname as the “City of Brotherly Love.” This is an expectational improvement from the last two major events in Philadelphia, the papal visit in 2015 had resulted in 3 arrests and the 2016 Democratic National Convention which resulted in over 100 violations. There were 17 arrests at the NFL draft in Chicago last year. This is the first time that the event was set outside and due to the high attendance record and the incredible safety standards of Philadelphia may have allowed the city to possibly reclaim the rights to host the draft next year.

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