PHOENIX — Earlier Friday, the NFL and officials from the Kansas City Chiefs and the greater Kansas City Sports Commission released the first renderings of what Union Station will look like for the 2023 NFL Draft coming in April.
The renderings show an expansive stage on the south side of Union Station, opening up to the lawn at the World War I Museum and Memorial.
The announcement comes as the NFL gets set to host Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona, pitting the Kansas City Chiefs against the Philadelphia Eagles.
KSHB 41 News Anchor Dia Wall caught up with Chiefs President Mark Donovan while both were in Phoenix for the game. The following is a lightly edited transcript of their interview.
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Dia: All right, we are here in Phoenix with Chiefs President Mark Donovan. Big week for you guys?
Donovan: “Huge week; we're grateful to be here.”
Dia: Now we're not talking football. Today we're talking about the Draft. The renderings released first thing this morning. Oh, my goodness, it looks amazing.
Donovan: “It's a great representation of what we've been dreaming enough that this is going to be the biggest fan event in our history. And I think they did a great job with it. It's going to be exciting to see it actually come to fruition.”
Dia: What is it like juggling preparing for a Draft, preparing for a Super Bowl and celebrating an MVP?
Donovan: "I would first start with we have a great team around me and our whole organization. Everyone does their job. We've got people here right now working on the draft back in Kansas City, and we've got people in Kansas City working on Super Bowl. We're grateful to be here. It's such an amazing opportunity to be on this stage and then to be able to be using this stage to promote the draft in Kansas City. It's just a great combination.”
Dia: What's your favorite thing kind of about the setup and the layout?
Donovan: “I love that it's at Union Station. For me personally, having Union Station and the World War I Memorial and Museum just captures Kansas City. It'll be just a great picture for the rest of the world to see. I keep telling people it's our opportunity to show off. And I think we'll show off through the Chiefs Kingdom showing what they do and how they support, but you're also going to see fans from every single team and they're going to be in this setting. I have this feeling that a lot of people from other cities are going to be like, 'Wow this is really cool.'”
Dia: I am looking at the layout. You see the fountains, you see the skyline, but it's the scale for me. I've been to a few drafts at this point. Vegas felt a little smaller. This feels big.”
Donovan: “It's the largest footprint in the history of the Draft, which you know, when you talk about the kingdom, it should be the largest right? But it's really well laid out, in my opinion. You have the historic Union Station where the players will actually be coming out when people see this structure. We're putting a structure in front of Union Station that's almost as big as Union Station. Then you've got the hillside where everyone can watch and then up top, you have the flat field behind the Liberty Memorial where we're going to have all kinds of interactive activity. The best thing about the draft is it's free, and there's something for everyone.”