KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Looking ahead to the 2023 NFL Draft, KSHB 41 anchor Dia Wall sat down with Katie Keenan, NFL senior director of live events.
Keenan spoke with Wall about the operations and logistics required to pull the event off in just 356 days.
The conversation in Q&A format starts below:
Keenan: We're just in the preliminary stages. We look forward to taking a trip out there in the next month or so to really start digging into our plans for 2023. When you come to the city, what are the biggest things that you're looking at as you come on combat fact-finding troops, so to speak? So we're looking at the site. I think, as you know, we're looking at the area around Union Station and the World War I Memorial. So really start to look at the roadways around those areas, the parking space and how we can fit all of the pieces of the draft into those spaces. ... We want to do something really cool, but we want to make sure that we're not impacting negatively for the event.
Wall: What about that space really spoke to you and your team?
Keenan: I think it's really just about how we think. Again, we can really show off a city, right? When you're up at the top of the World War I Memorial, you have that view, the skyline and the station. That's just kind of number one. And then, we know that the city has hosted many large events there. There's some experience on the city side with that, so we know that you've had successful events there, so we can do it.
Wall: How tough is it for you to pull all of these things together and pull off an event that is seamless across three days for countless numbers of fans from all over the country and the world?
Keenan: I mean, it's certainly a challenge. But you know, it takes a village, as they say. We have amazing partners on the ground in KC. Definitely one of the things I'm most excited about working in Kansas City, between the sports commission and the city manager and everyone's so excited. You guys, again, like I said, host fantastic events in that city. You know how to throw a party, you know how to host people. So we know it takes a village, it's a long sprint planning process. It's over a year, and we love to partner with local businesses and get those folks involved as well. So we've got a ton of strong support and a ton of great experience running this event. We look forward to doing it in Kansas City.