School Closings And Delays

Fans Heading To Philly For Outdoor NFL Draft And Fan Festival

PHILADELPHIA -- For the first time in modern history, the National Football League is bringing its annual draft of college players to the city of brotherly love!

And it's a huge deal in Philly; an open-air stage is set up on the steps of the art museum.

There's a three-day fan festival set for the Ben Franklin Parkway.

Many football fans from our area are heading down for Thursday's first round.

The stage is set inside the open-air theater that sits in front of the steps of the art museum in Philadelphia that will host the NFL draft.

NFL officials say this setup will allow for the largest live audience to ever watch as the teams make their picks.

Eagles fans David Griffith and Kim Drozda of Hanover Township are joining the thousands expected at the event.

“When they announced it, it was a couple months ago, five, six months when Philly got awarded for the draft,” said Griffith. “Man, I was looking for tickets as soon as they said it.”

“We got tickets through the app. You just download the app, the NFL draft, and just sign up it's all free,” said Drozda.

Accompanying the three-day draft is a fan festival which is free to attend.

On the NFL’s website, there’s a map of all the fun events taking place all around the Ben Franklin Parkway.

It's being called the NFL Draft Experience and fans can do things like test their football skills in the Combine Corner and the NFL Virtual Reality Station.

“I was looking at this one, the 40-yard dash,” said Drozda. “You get to race down the field against your opponents, digital NFL players in the giant 40-yard-long LED wall.”

“Aw, it's going to be insane down there. They have like all kinds of attractions. They shut down streets, pretty much on every corner you're going to be able to do all kinds of fun stuff, so,” said Griffith.

“There's so many activities. I can't wait to do half the stuff there,” said Drozda.

And Philadelphia Eagles are expected to show some brotherly love by meeting fans and signing autographs.

But with so many additional people expected to be in the city for three days, there are some drawbacks.

“Traffic is going to be nuts, parking is going to be insane, I mean 76 already is always a nightmare,” said Griffith.

According to the Philadelphia Eagles website, there will be several road closures in the area of the Ben Franklin Parkway.

People are encouraged to park for free at the stadiums in South Philly and use SEPTA's Broad Street line to get to the event.