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Football, music and BBQ: A guide to historic 2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft
Posted at 12:05 PM, Apr 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-26 21:52:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — History will be made this week as Kansas City, Missouri, hosts the first ever NFL Draft in the state.

Here, attendees and fans can find a guide to the highly anticipated 2023 NFL Draft.


All 2023 NFL Draft events will be held at Union Station Kansas City and the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

Draft festivities will officially commence at the NFL Draft Red Carpet on the Memorial Courtyard at the National WWI Museum and Memorial. Prospects will make their draft debut on the red carpet prior to the beginning of round one on Thursday.

The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft will begin at 7 p.m. CST this Thursday, April 27, at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.

The subsequent rounds, rounds two through three and four through seven, are set to begin at 6 p.m. CST on Friday, April 28, and at 11 a.m. CST on Saturday, April 29.

Fans can watch the picks on ESPN, ABC and NFL Network.


While the draft captures some of the most influential moments in up-and-coming football players' lives, the excitement doesn’t stop there.

Fans can attend free performances by Fall Out Boy, Mötley Crüe and Thundercat as part of the draft experience. Those who plan to attend must register on the NFL draft access website.

Fall Out Boy will take the NFL Draft stage following the first round on Thursday.

Mötley Crüe will perform following round two of the draft.

Bassist and vocalist Thundercat will conclude the 2023 draft series on Saturday with a performance honoring the history of music and jazz in Kansas City culture.

Concert attendance is available based on a first-come first-served basis. General fan viewing is limited to standing room, and will be located on the North Lawn of the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

The performances will also be streamed via the NFL Draft Concert Series website, and on the NFL Facebook and YouTube pages.


For those looking to get the most out of the draft, attendees can participate in the NFL Draft Experience, the NFL’s “football theme park”, located on the South side of the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

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Fans can put their football skills to the test, play with interactive exhibits, attend autograph sessions and photo opportunities with the Vince Lombardi Trophy and all 56 Super Bowl rings, according to the NFL.

The NFL Draft Experience runs from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

During Saturday’s Draft Experience, the NFL will host a “Kansas City Smoke Show,” where reputable Kansas City-area barbecue joints will competitively cook. Additionally, in true Kansas City fashion, BBQ lovers can participate in a rib-eating contest.

These events are free for all three days of the NFL Draft. A NFL OnePass is required, and fans can register at the NFL draft access website.


Attendance is free for all three days of the draft.

To attend for free, fans must register on the NFL draft access website, or through the NFL OnePass app.

NFL Draft Map.jpg

NFL Draft Packages, official NFL draft tickets with additional fan experiences, have sold out.

The main entrance for fans will be located at Main Entry 1, located near the intersection of Wyandotte Street and Memorial Drive on the south side of the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

Detailed maps are available on the NFL OnePass app.


Kansas City has made parking and walking a viable option for draft attendees. Multiple parking lots along the KC Streetcar and RideKC routes will be available during the draft.

Visit KC’s interactive map shows available parking in downtown Kansas City, the Crossroads Arts District, Central Business District, Crown Center, River Market, Westport and Country Club Plaza.

Kansas City is encouraging draft attendees to utilize the KC Streetcar and RideKC Bus to curb traffic congestion. Both transportation services are free.

The KC Streetcar will operate with extended hours during the NFL Draft.

On Thursday and Friday the streetcar will run from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Saturday it will run from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Beginning on Wednesday, April 27, and continuing for the duration of the draft, the Union Station streetcar stop will remain closed. For those planning to use the KC Streetcar, the Crossroads stop at 19th and Main offers the closest stop to the festivities, a 15-minute walk to the draft entrance.

The closest RideKC Bus stop to Entry 2 of the draft will be located at West Pershing Road and Broadway Boulevard.

RideKC Bus will offer two special routes for the draft. The West Blitz and East Rush stops will offer free transportation to downtown during the draft.

More information pertaining to RideKC Bus’ services during the draft can be found here.

Main Street south of 20th Street will be closed to all through traffic, including pedestrians, during the draft. Visit KC recommends pedestrians use Grand Boulevard to access the draft.


The NFL encourages attendees to not bring any type of bag into the 2023 NFL Draft. Although, clear bags that are smaller than 12-by-12-by-6 inches will be permitted.

Strollers are permitted, but associated bags and blankets will be screened and physically and visually inspected.

Small cameras and binoculars will be allowed into the draft, according to the NFL. Fans will also be allowed to enter with an empty, reusable water bottle.

A list of prohibited items can be found here.