City Spending $3M for NFL Draft, Big Economic Payoff Expected

The 2023 NFL Draft main stage will be in front of Union Station. (Photo from Union Station Facebook Page)

By Kevin Collison

This April’s 2023 NFL Draft will cost Kansas City taxpayers $3 million, but is anticipated to generate an economic impact of about $102 million in direct spending by the thousands of fans expected to attend the downtown event.

The Kansas City Council is being asked this week to approve the first $1.5 million installment of a $3 million total ask from the city by organizers.

The NFL Draft will be held April 27-29 and is expected to draw 300,000 people.

Kathy Nelson, executive director of the Kansas City Sports Commission, said the city contribution will go towards support services including security, weather preparation, volunteers and shuttles for the media expected to cover the event.

“When we bid on this, that was part of the commitment to fund part of the events related to the draft,” she said. “It’s a wide range of things.”

The NFL Draft and Experience activities will be spread out from Union Station to the Liberty Memorial lawns. (Image from City Council presentation)

Nelson said an additional $2 million is being raised privately by her organization to support hosting the event. Jackson County also is being asked for financial support.

This is the first time the NFL Draft and NFL Draft Experience has been held in Kansas City and the three-day affair is expected to draw considerable national attention to the city. Last year’s draft was held in Las Vegas, next year’s will be in Detroit.

“Not only will fans from around the country be traveling to experience the NFL Draft and NFL Draft Experience, but millions of viewers will see Kansas City in the national spotlight on NFL Network, ESPN and other major networks,” Nelson said in an earlier press release.

The main stage for the NFL Draft will be in front of Union Station. The Draft Experience will be on the lawns of Liberty Memorial and the National World War I Museum.

The Draft Experience is scheduled to begin noon April 27, with a red carpet show at 4:15 p.m. The first night of the draft will start at 7 p.m.

Events will continue at noon Friday, April 28, with the Draft Experience. Draft rounds two and three will start at 6 p.m.

The three-day event continues on Saturday, April 29, with the Draft Experience opening at 10 a.m. and rounds 4-7 of the draft starting at 11 a.m.

More information can be found on the KC Sports Commission website here.

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