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‘Draft Town’ festivities come to Chicago for NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is coming to Chicago this year from April 30 through May 2.

While the draft is running at Roosevelt University, a fan festival called “Draft Town” will expand outside to Grant Park and Congress Plaza for a 900,000 square foot event.

Draft Town will be open all three days of the draft and will feature live music, food, free player autographs, interactive games, photo opportunities and screens to watch the draft. Everything is free.

Draft Town will run from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, with a concert to close out the festivities.

Via the NFL website, here’s a look at some of what Draft Town will offer:

-Selection Square: The central operations of the draft will take place in Selection Square, located across Michigan Avenue from the Auditorium Theatre. Selection Square will feature all 32 teams, where club representatives will submit their team’s player selections throughout the three days of the 2015 NFL Draft.

-AFC & NFC Row: The 32 team houses are divided into AFC Row and NFC Row and surrounded by food and drink concessions.

-Team House (e.g., Bears House): Each of the 32 NFL clubs has a home at Draft Town. These fan caves provide a place for fans to gather and engage with unique club content and memorabilia.

-Chi-Chefs Kitchen: This area will feature selections from some of Chicago’s best restaurants in a curated taste of the town tailgate for fans to sample and enjoy.

-Combine Corner: Fans can participate in some of the same activities, including the 40-yard dash and vertical jump, that top prospects participated in at the NFL Combine.

-Run Like the Wind: Within Combine Corner, fans will have the opportunity to test their speed by running alongside a 40-yard long LED screen featuring NFL stars running the 40-yard dash.

-Draft Tavern

-Greetings from Draft Town: Fans can choose their favorite draft-themed background image and take a commemorative photo. They’ll be able to share the photo socially live from Draft Town.

-NFL PLAY 60 Field: The NFL and USA Football will host private youth football clinics on the NFL PLAY 60 Field for local schools, as well as public clinics open to all kids in the greater Chicago area. Local coaches and NFL Legends will come together to teach youth about the importance of getting active and playing for 60 minutes a day. Public clinics are open to boys and girls ages 6-14 on a first-come, first-served basis.

-NFL PLAY 60 Zone: The NFL PLAY 60 Zone is an interactive area for kids and families to play together. It includes an obstacle course, mobile app gaming, green screen photo opportunity, player appearances and the famous NFL PLAY 60 Bus.
Super Bowl Museum (Pro Football Hall of Fame display area). The Super Bowl Museum features historical Bears memorabilia, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Super Bowl rings and the AFC and NFC Conference Championship Trophies.

-NFL FLAG Festival – A large-scale flag football tournament for youth and adults played all day Saturday, May 2. To register to play in the tournament, visit nflflagfestival.com.

-Family Football Clinic – On Saturday, May 2 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., the NFL and USA Football will host a family football clinic. Open to both kids and parents, this event will give kids an opportunity to participate in a youth football clinic while their parents listen to two football-themed discussion panels. The event will conclude with kids and their parents taking the field together to participate side-by-side in Heads Up Football Tackling drills. More information on how to register will be available soon.

-Free player autographs

-Live television stages

-NFL Draft Shop

-Wilson football factory

More information about Draft Town, including security procedures, are available at the NFL website.