The Lowdown on the Downtown Draft Weekend

Apr 21 2019
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The Lowdown on the Downtown Draft Weekend

By: Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.

Downtown Nashville continues to transform as the city prepares to host the 2019 NFL Draft. Lower Broadway and the area outside Nissan Stadium will host free, public activities for the event taking place April 25-27, which is expected to be the largest event ever held in Music City. 

For the uninitiated, the NFL Draft is an opportunity for each of the 32 NFL teams to pick top prospects to add to their rosters for the upcoming season. Players, coaches, owners and league officials will all be on hand to take place in the selection activities. While this may seem like a simple concept, putting together an event of this magnitude requires months of planning and cooperation from several different city, state and national partners. In addition to the NFL Draft being in town, Nashville also hosts the St. Jude Rock ‘N’ Roll Nashville Marathon & ½ Marathon and a Jimmy Buffett concert at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday. A Nashville Predators playoff game and watch party at Music City Walk of Fame Park also could be thrown into the mix.

 “The NFL Draft will be one of the biggest sports events in the history of Tennessee — another great opportunity for Nashville to welcome the world and show fans, players and media what we’re all about,” said Nashville Mayor David Briley. “We’re looking forward to showing off our city and our unrivaled live music scene to all who attend. Events like this generate important revenues that allow us to make long-term investments that benefit all of Nashville. I’m glad the NFL agrees that our great city, which the Titans have called home for 20 years, is the perfect location to kick off its 100th season.”

The NFL Draft is the ultimate sports fan festival, and anticipated attendance over three days will range between 100,000 to 150,000 people each day. The NFL also expects coverage from 2,000 credential media and three major national broadcast networks. Visitor spending impact is expected to be tremendous. Direct visitor spending at last year’s NFL Draft in Dallas was $74 million, with a $125 million economic impact. Given Nashville’s strength as a destination, visitor spending is forecasted to be higher.

Because this is Nashville, of course, live music will play a large role in the experience. For the first time, the NFL Draft will have a house band to provide entertainment between team selections on Thursday and Friday with critically acclaimed house band Sixwire doing the honors. Also, Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands marching band will perform during the NFL Draft Red Carpet at The Green at Riverfront Park on Thursday, April 25.

Attendees can catch the following musical acts at the Draft Main Stage at First and Broadway: GRAMMY-winning gospel music great CeCe Winans will sing the National Anthem to help open NFL Draft activities on Thursday, April 25 and Nashville-based indie-alternative rock band Moon Taxi will headline a free outdoor concert later that evening. GRAMMY-winner Tim McGraw will headline a free outdoor concert on Friday, April 26, and multi-platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will headline a free outdoor concert on Saturday, April 27 with an opening performance by Lindsay Ell.

At the Draft Experience Stage outside Nissan Stadium, numerous local artists, representing Nashville’s diverse musical offerings will perform on all three days. Artists include New North, Striking Matches, Mikky Ekko, Willie Jones, Kid Politics, Jessy Wilson, Charlie Worsham, Jonny P, Rayland Baxter, Ryan Hurd, Katie Schecter, Jason Eskridge, Three Star Revival, Andrew Combs, Mez and Charles Esten.

In addition to music, the NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos® Triple Zero will be a three-day festival held outside Nissan Stadium. Representing the largest festival footprint ever created by the NFL, fans can participate in interactive exhibits, immersive games, virtual reality experiences, free player autograph sessions and more. Activations include: 

Autograph Stage presented by Panini with current NFL players and NFL Legends

Interactive games, Play Football clinics, and PLAY 60 Zone presented by Danimals® for the smallest NFL fans

Photo with the Vince Lombardi Trophy 

NFL Shop presented by Visa at Draft with exclusive NFL merchandise

Taste of Tailgate with Nashville restaurants and Bud Light Bars 

NFL Draft Experience Stage with Nashville-based artists of all genres

Look Like a Pro: Step inside a replica NFL Draft Main Stage bearing a draft day jersey of your favorite NFL team and have your photo taken. Share your photos through your favorite social channel and Fan Mobile Pass. 

Pepsi NFL Helmet Photo Opportunity: Find your favorite NFL team oversized helmet and have your photo taken. Share your photos through your favorite social channel and Fan Mobile Pass.

Combine Corner 

40-Yard Dash: Race down the field against your opponents and digital NFL players on a giant 40-yard long LED wall.

Vertical Jump: Jump as high as you can and hit the corresponding flag to discover your vertical reach just like at the NFL Scouting Combine.


Fans can follow the action at the 2019 NFL Draft with the Fan Mobile Pass app. The app will serve as the central hub for information and updates on the Draft Experience concert series and a chance to gain access to exclusive viewing areas at the NFL Draft Main Stage to watch in person as the picks unfold and Draft boards come to life. Register today at  


For information on event schedules, locations, road closures, parking and more, fans can check out Article submitted by the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.

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