KC leaders approve another $3M toward NFL Draft, which is expected to bring in $100M+

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 5:45 AM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - UPDATE: The KCMO City Council has “approved funding the City’s contribution of potentially $3M,” according to a Tweet from the city.

Previous coverage is below.

Millions of dollars are being put in the pot to get the operations up and running with 99 days left before thousands of people come to Kansas City for the NFL Draft.

Business owners are gearing up for more customers, fans are anticipating who will be their next star, and the city anticipates millions of dollars in revenue. But it takes quite a bit of cash to make sure everything is prepared beforehand.

Numbers come from the Nashville Business Journal and O’Keefe consulting firm shows millions of dollars in revenue to draft cities, as expected.

Cleveland’s draft in 2021 brought in $42 million during a covid-year draft. It didn’t show Vegas’ draft numbers, but it was virtual, so those numbers are lower than expected as well. Nashville brought in $224 million in 2019 with more than 600,000 visitors coming there over the three-day event. Dallas brought in $125 million in 2018.

Right now, the expectation for Kansas City is more than $100 million but that could rise or fall depending on operational costs and how many people end up coming to our city.

The city of KCMO is looking to add an additional $3 million to the Kansas City Sports Commission’s operations. It would come out of the Convention and Tourism Fund in both fiscal years 2023 and 2024.

Councilwoman Melissa Robinson is for this decision, but it awaits a vote of approval from the council.

“It takes money to throw a party, and the NFL draft is a big party. We want people to have a good time. We want our city to look nice,” she said. “We want to be able to make those expenditures that are needed to also make it a safe experience, too.”

The city’s Finance, Governance, and Public Safety Committee is meeting Wednesday to further discuss that extra funding for the commission. Robinson said it could be voted on as early as Thursday or take a few weeks.

Robinson said this is a key test to show the country we can handle an event this size well. It also shows the world that we’re prepared for the World Cup coming here in a few years.

“We have to be a good city so that other national attractions will feel comfortable coming here so it is important for us, it’s very judicious for us, to make a good first impression. To do the things we need to do as a city so that the draft will come back.”

The 2023 NFL Draft is expected to take place in Kansas City in the iconic area around Union Station and the National World War I Museum and Memorial.