I’m a huge fan of the NFL Draft, I used to be that guy sitting in a bar somewhere (stuffing my face with chicken wings), with a buddy watching hours of draft coverage when it used to start on Saturday morning.
Some of those years back then (10-12 years ago), I’d have it on the radio at work when I used to work Saturday mornings at United Airlines.
So last year I got to experience the interactive Draft Town here at Grant Park.
First thing to do is go to the NFL site and download a pass so you can get in, print that out and have it on your phone (you know how fickle technology is), and do that right away.
Next, read all of the rules for attending Draft town, they are not allowing any bags in there at all (except if you buy something there), nor any outside food or drinks.
You can bring a stroller for your kid but look at the rules I just told you.
But this is not something for small kids, I’d say at least 5 years and up will get the most out of it. There are physical activities for kids (NFL Play 60 events), that seem really fun.
Now I went on Saturday last year, so the first rounds were over and I didn’t go to the Auditorium Theater, just the Grant Park stuff.
Wear comfy clothes, football stuff, no not cleats, shoulder pads and a helmet. But your NFL jersey, shirt, hat, etc. There’s a lot of walking and not a lot of places to sit, so be casual.
Give yourself plenty of time, there’s a lot to see and some lines (like seeing to Super Bowl trophy or going to the NFL store), can get long, so be patient.
But be sure the check everything out and have a fully charged phone so you can take pictures.
The Bears and the NFL did a great job last year with memorabilia and all kinds of artifacts. Part of it was like the Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.
Have some money (duckets, dough, scratch, etc.), there is a nice but small NFL store and food is not cheap, everything else is free but just make sure you can buy something if you want.
If you root for a team other than the Bears (I forgive you except if its Green Bay), wear your gear and there are tents for every team where there are other fans, TV’s and memorabilia. Go check those out.
So represent your squad, last year the Steeler fans were deep (maybe even more than Green Bay), it’s nice to see the league well represented. I saw fans of at least 12-15 NFL teams, Dolphins & Cowboys also well represented.
Talk to other fans (I did last year), we all love football and while you wait in line or watch coverage (there’s a huge TV in the center of the roof of the main tent), be cool and talk to folks, we are out having a good time.
Football is special, this event is special and I’m hearing it won’t be back here next year, so do all you can out there.
Take time to soak all of it in, it’s a lot to see, TV’s going, live interviews and events on stage, ESPN and NFL network have their people live on the set it’s a great event.
Lastly, if you can take public transportation, trust me on that, you know the parking garages are a racket, so jump on Metra, CTA, South Shore, whatever works for you. I did Metra and it was a breeze and took my mind off of bringing my truck downtown.
But mostly enjoy and do I need to emphasize, Go Bears!
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