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Kansas City gets its first look at the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station

An artist rendering shows Union Station at nightfall, partially obscured by a giant white tent and a stage in front of the façade. A circular fountain with the NFL logo in the center is illuminated in blue.
NFL Draft renderings show fans gathering around the fountain at Union Station.

The National Football League released its first renderings Friday of how Kansas City’s iconic Union Station will transform for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Hundreds of thousands of football fans will huddle at Union Station in Kansas City in April to witness the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Draft will take place between April 27 and April 29. Plans are for the event to be held in downtown Kansas City, around Union Station and the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

On Friday, Kansas City residents got a glimpse of how some of their hometown’s iconic landmarks will appear for the event.

Union Station will be enveloped by a large NFL Draft tent, where athletes and their families will likely be stationed and fans will gather to witness the draft.

An aerial rendering shows fans watching the NFL Draft with the Kansas City skyline in the background.
An aerial rendering shows fans watching the NFL Draft with the Kansas City skyline in the background.

NFL renderings show fans watching from the fountain in front of Union Station and extending as far as the WWI Museum and Memorial.

So far, the city has allocated $3 million for the event. Some groups estimate that the event could generate as much as $100 million. Admission is free for all three days of the NFL Draft, according to the Kansas City Sports Commission. All you need to do is download the free NFL OnePass app.

People were quick to react to the images on social media on Friday. Some complained that Union Station – one of Kansas City’s most recognizable landmarks – is nearly obscured.

Others hoped the weather would hold up for an outdoor event, considering Kansas City’s unpredictable spring weather patterns.

Still, most people were enthusiastic about the possibility of attending the event — and for the opportunity to showcase Kansas City to football fans across the country.

Kansas City won the bid to get the draft back in 2019. Aubrey Walton, the NFL's director of event location, strategy and planning, told KCUR last year that with the continued growth of the draft, this event takes a long time to put together.

"Other conventions, other organizations, they're bringing their major events to these same cities," she said. "And so we have to get ahead of them to get those different locations and venues that we need to even be able to host the draft. So planning three-to-five years out is crucial."

Interactive games will be included in the NFL Draft Experience. In the past, these activities included the vertical jump, field goal kick, hail mary challenges and more.

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