GRANT PARK — Anticipation is building toward this year's NFL draft in Chicago, and with the first selection just 16 days away, the NFL took local media on a tour Tuesday of the stage it is setting Downtown.
One of those stages will be Grant Park, which will play host to a free "Draft Town" full of football fun from April 30 to May 2. There, fans can participate in a flag football tournament and race NFL stars (electronically) in the 40-yard dash, among other activities.
Most of the festivities have been revealed, but here are five more details about the upcoming draft that DNAinfo took away from Tuesday's tour:
1.) There Will Be Booze: The NFL said a "Draft Tavern" sponsored by Bud Light will be constructed in Draft Town. Sorry, kids.
2.) And Food: Chicago chef Graham Elliot will be a vendor and "culinary curator" at Draft Town, which will include food stands from Graham Elliot Bistro and other Chicago restaurants. Among those who have signed up: Perry Hendrix (Avec), Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia), Billy Goat Tavern, Black Dog Gelato, County Barbeque, Dia De Los Tamales, Feast, and Wow Bao.
3.) Tribal Accommodations: Don't like fraternizing with the enemy? There will be a "team house" with TVs for all 32 NFL teams in Draft Town. The huts will be lined up in two rows, one for each NFL conference.
4.) Live Jams: A concert in Grant Park will close out NFL draft festivities Saturday, May 2. NFL officials on Tuesday wouldn't say who is playing the show, so DNAinfo reserves the right to rescind this as a selling point if the headliner is Nickelback.
5.) We're Not Paying for It: Again, admission to Draft Town will be free. And Don Welsh, head of the Choose Chicago tourism booster, said no taxpayer money is paying for the draft.
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