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How fans will get around downtown Kansas City during 2023 NFL Draft

Posted at 9:48 AM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 10:48:52-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When the NFL Draft comes to Kansas City in 2023, potentially hundreds of thousands of people could come with it.

KSHB 41News looked back at big events in Kansas City’s past and asked some city leaders how all those people will be expected to get to and around the downtown area that weekend.

The NFL said more than 600,000 fans filled the streets of Nashville when the draft was there in 2019.

That crowd size would be nothing new for Kansas City. The Royals 2015 World Series parade had an estimated 800,000 people show up.

Kansas City Area Transit Authority said they had almost 300 buses to help shuttle thousands of fans, but getting home that day meant major gridlock with some people waiting hours.

Fast forward to February 2020 and KCATA had more than 400 buses to shuttle fans to and from the Chiefs’ parade after they won Super Bowl LIV.

“I think one thing that we will ensure that we do is (to) communicate to people the variety of options that they can take to get there,” said Maggie Green with the city of Kansas City, Missouri. “We typically start about a year out for big events like this. So right now is the prime time of where this conversation will start.”

Fans at a draft party at Arrowhead Stadium over the weekend said they’re already planning where they will stay and how they will get around.

“Yeah, we’re gonna do Uber,” Cheryl Freeman said.

“Probably just walking everywhere,” Taegan Wegener said.

“I’m gonna have my mom drop me off for sure because I will not be driving,” Arianna Myers said.

No matter the mode of transportation, fans are excited and dedicated to being present.

“Absolutely can’t wait for it. Already got our hotel booked,” said Beverly Hobbs from Omaha.

She plans to rely on the streetcar during the draft.

Donna Mandelbaum with the Kansas City Streetcar Authority said while plans are not definite yet, they will be looking at increasing their service including adding more staff, adding more cars and extending hours.

“So our goal is to be in service and get people to where they want to go throughout their visit,” Mandelbaum said. “We can get people to the fun and to other parts of downtown very quickly.”

Green also mentioned bike and scooter sharing as options for people to get around on NFL Draft weekend.

If you do plan to drive to the draft, Green said there are about 40,000 parking spaces in the downtown area and that the city will be working with partners to make sure garages are fully staffed.

She added that the city is also already working to improve its parking program and streamline the city’s parking app.