Kansas City welcomes NFL fans from across the country for NFL Draft

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 6:55 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2023 at 7:27 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The 2023 NFL Draft is right around the corner and before teams get on the clock, fans will make their way to the City of Fountains.

This year, the Carolina Panthers hold the first overall pick after trading with the Chicago Bears in March. With the first overall pick, fans from the east coast will make the trek to Kansas City.

Jerry Chadwick caught his flight from Charlotte on Monday afternoon, planning to celebrate the draft in Kansas City all week. Chadwick said he has been to KC before, but this will be his first time attending the NFL Draft. Growing up in Charlotte and raised a Washington Commanders fan, he said he’s looking forward to being in a city of champions.

“It’s going to be amazing because Charlotte isn’t that big of a football town,” Chadwick said. “When they’re great the city is amazing, but they’ve had a slow couple of years. I’m happy because everybody’s going to be electric, everybody’s going to have energy, everybody’s going to be winning with a winning community and it’s going to feel good.”

READ MORE: Confused how to navigate KCI’s new terminal? Here are some helpful videos

Staff at KCI told KCTV5 roughly 17,000 to 19,000 people will travel to Kansas City between Monday and Wednesday of draft week. This projection is total travelers coming into the airport, but staff are not able to decipher their reason for flying.

The airport is showcasing signage which says “The Pick is in” to welcome fans arriving. KCI has dozens of signs, specials, and gear for fans coming into town.

“It’s a good football town, so I know it’s going to be lit, it’s going to be ecstatic, the energy will be insane,” Chadwick said.

Until 2015, the NFL Draft had been held in New York. Since then, the NFL Draft has moved around to various cities, including Chicago, Nashville, Philadelphia and Dallas.