KANSAS CITY, MO. (KSNT) – Kansas City is making NFL Draft history.
Both the draft theatre and red carpet are unique to Kansas City. The green room is iconic for being the place where dreams come true, but the structure outside is the Draft’s biggest stage ever.
“Looking at Union Station itself, it is so iconic and it means so much to Kansas City, so there were several iterations, kind of having some back drops, looking at it,” NFL manager of events Kelsey Pietrangelo said. “At the end of the day, just knowing how beautiful the building is itself, we just had to make sure we included that in the overall draft theatre, which also is why the theatre is as big as it is because we didn’t want to take away from it. We really wanted to utilize that entirty of the front, which now made us have the largest draft theatre to date.”
The theatre is 378 feet long by 176 feet wide, and weighs a few tons. The parking garage under Union Station is full of reinforcers to hold up the massive stage.
“We needed to ensure we had everything in place, so we actually worked with the engineers of the original Union Station to figure that plan out to make sure that it’s here,” Pietrangelo said.
Seventeen NFL prospects are going to walk the stage on day one. Before that, they get their first taste of being in the NFL at the draft’s red carpet.
“It’s their first kind of welcome moment to the NFL on their draft night before they head over to the green room and the theatre in anticipation of being drafted,” NFL senior manager of events Steve Farago said.
The prospects will be dressed to the nines on more than 6,000 square feet of red carpet at the World War I museum and memorial. Downtown KC will light up the back drop.
“We really customize it based on the layout,” Farago said. “Obviously, last year in Las Vegas we were on the fountain, which is special. In previous years, sometimes we’re close to the theatre. If there’s landmarks, such as this in the city, we like to highlight that as well.”
The draft invitees won’t be walking on the carpet alone.
“They also take great pride in the guests that they have with them,” Farago said. “So, I think they want to make sure those folks are highlighted, as well.”
The draft will continue to open up more for fans throughout the weekend. On Saturday, there will be a standing room only portion outside of the theatre. Fans can get pulled in to the seats to be a part of the players’ special moments.
The NFL Draft begins with round one on Thursday. Rounds two and three are on Friday before the draft wraps up with rounds four through seven on Saturday.