Tuesday, March 17, 2015

NFL Draft to Close Down Much of Grant Park and Some Streets for 2 Weeks

The NFL draft and it festivities are invading the Sloop this spring.  We all knew that the NFL draft was a prestige event, a feather in the city's proverbial hat, but we weren't really sure what the city had to do to have the honor of hosting the event.

Interactive Map of NFL Draft Festivities (via Tribune)
Well it seems like they pretty much had to hand over Grant Park for awhile and some more according to a Chicago Tribune article:
City records show much of Grant Park is reserved for two weeks, as well as a key stretch of Congress Parkway between Michigan Avenue and Wabash Avenue. Adding to the possible congestion on May 2 will be the annual Polish Constitution Day Parade, which has been rerouted to accommodate the draft.  
A park district spokeswoman confirmed the NFL's tentative reservations for the park, as well as Congress Parkway between Michigan and Wabash, from April 24 to May 6. Congress, from Michigan to Columbus, is expected to be closed by April 25, according to records obtained by the Tribune via a public records request.  
The draft starts in less than seven weeks, running April 30 through May 2, but many details, including transportation, parking and road closures, have yet to be announced. City, local tourism officials and the NFL have said many aspects have yet to be finalized.

While this isn't unheard of (see Lollapalooza, Obama Election Night, Taste of Chicago) it does tend to provide a huge traffic nightmare for those of us around the area.

For football fans, the headache is probably worth the inconvenience to experience this unusual event.  For the city, the opportunity to showoff our "front-yard" through the this highly rated television event is also probably pretty enticing.

We will be paying close attention to see if all the hype is worth it.

What do you think?  Is the city doing the right thing here?

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