The Titans announced some details regarding the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville this morning. The dates of the draft are Thursday, April 25th (1st Round), Friday, April 26th (2nd and 3rd Round), and Saturday, April 27th (4th through 7th Rounds).
The biggest news item is probably that the main draft stage will be set up at the intersection of Broadway and 1st Avenue. The same location where the Titans hosted their uniform unveiling event last offseason. I had thought they might choose the nearby Ascend Amphitheatre, but the Broadway avenue makes sense for a few reasons. First, the NFL gets to build their own stage from scratch with all the bells and whistles they want from a technology standpoint without having to work around an existing structure. It also showcases Broadway and many of the main tourist attractions of Nashville. The crowd spilling down Broadway and along the rooftop bars that line it will be spectacular on TV (event planners are expecting approximately 300,000 visitors). ESPN, ABC, and NFL Network will all have booths set up on Broadway and there will also be large viewing screens set up along the street for those who can’t get right up close to the stage.
The other big news item is that the draft will be free admission for the public. Seating will be limited, but obviously Broadway and it’s feeder streets will be shut down for the weekend for fans to watch from the street (no word on if they will be allowing camping chairs or not yet, but I would have to imagine they will).
Selection Square — the location where team representatives sit at tables and make the actual selections — will be hosted in the Schermerhorn Symphony Center (approximately three blocks away from the draft stage), but the picks will be announced and players will meet Roger Goodell on the main stage at 1st and Broadway. This part of the event will be one of the few that is closed to fans.
The NFL Draft Red Carpet will take place on the green at Riverfront Park which is located just north of where the main stage will be located on 1st Avenue. This part of the event will be on Thursday only as it is primarily for the likely first round picks who get invited to attend the draft in person.
The NFL Draft Experience is described as a “three day football festival” and it will be set up in the parking areas around Nissan Stadium on the east side of the Cumberland River. That event will feature games and activities, autograph sessions with current and past NFL stars, photo opportunities with the Lombardi Trophy, NFL Draft merchandise shops, local food and beer tastings, and free concerts.
The draft main stage will also feature several free concerts from “high level” musicians throughout the three days. Those artists are yet to be announced, but with an event of this magnitude in Nashville, you can expect some pretty serious star power to turn out.
More information about performers and transportation options will be forthcoming in the next couple months and we will share it here when we know it, but for now, this gives us a pretty good idea of what Nashville’s first NFL Draft is going to look like. Check back soon for a draft visitor’s guide to Nashville here in the next couple weeks as well.