The NFL draft will take over a large portion of Grant Park with a range of free and ticketed activities. Here is a guide for what to expect.

No tickets required: Draft Town

  • Thursday, April 30: 4 to 10 p.m.
  • Friday, May 1: 4 to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 2: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Team tents: Each team will have a tent where visitors can see memorabilia and browse information.
  • Combine area: Fans can take part in some of the same speed and strength tests that prospective NFL players take part in at the NFL combine, including the 40-yard dash and vertical jump. The dash features a huge screen that shows NFL stars running so fans can race along.
  • Tavern: Food and beverage area.
  • Football fields: (not shown on rendering) Fields for youth football clinics and flag football tournaments.
  • Super Bowl museum: Area featuring historic Bears memorabilia.
  • Buckingham Fountain: Will light up with team colors as each team picks.
  • Other food: A food area will feature selections from famous Chicago chefs.
  • Stage: (not shown on rendering) A free concert by American Idol winner Phillip Phillips will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 2.
  • Permitted items: Baby strollers; backpacks (standard school sized, no frames or camping gear)); binoculars; blankets; cameras (point and shoot cameras only, no professional cameras and no attachments); and umbrellas (hand-held, no bigger than 42″ when open).
  • Not permitted into Draft Town: Aerosol containers (including sunscreen and personal beauty products); audio recording equipment; chairs; coolers of any kind (except for medical use); drones or any other remote flying device; framed backpacks; glass containers; hammocks; illegal drugs; outside food and beverage; pets (except for service animals); personal motorized vehicles (including bicycles, carts, scooters, skateboards and wagons); professional cameras and attachments (including detachable zoom lenses, flashes, tripods and monopods); professional radios and walkie-talkies; professional video equipment; smoking; tents, canopies and shade structures of any kind; unauthorized materials (including beach balls, flyers, handbills and stickers); and weapons and explosives of any kind.

Tickets required: Auditorium Theatre and Selection Square

  • Lottery: A drawing for tickets was held in early April and awarded 5,600 free tickets for inside the theater — 2,800 each day for April 30 and May 1 — and 3,000 for Selection Square outdoors (1,000 each day).
  • Auditorium Theatre: The draft will be held in the theater for the first three rounds, April 30 and May 1. On May 2, fans can tour the theater and take photos on stage as the draft moves to Grant Park.
  • Selection Square (shown above): Located under a temporary arch-shaped structure, this area will feature tables where representatives from all 32 teams will submit player selections.
Security for Auditorium Theatre
  • Permitted large bags: Bags that comply with the NFL’s “All Clear” bag policy (includes clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags, and one gallon clear, plastic bags).
  • Permitted small bags: Bags that comply with the NFL’s “All Clear” bag policy (includes small clutch bags).
  • Prohibited bags: Backpacks; briefcases; binoculars case; camera bags; cinch bags/drawstrings bags; computer bags; coolers; fanny packs; luggage of any kind; purses larger than 4.5″ by 6.5″; andseat cushions with pockets, zippers, compartments or covers.
  • Permitted items: Small cameras and binoculars.
  • Prohibited items: Aerosol cans; alcohol and food; animals (except for service animals); banners (that obstruct the view of other fans); beach balls; bottles; camcorders; containers of any type; coolers (of any size); frisbees; laser lights and pointers; mace and pepper spray; missile-like objects of any kind; strollers; tripods; umbrellas; weapons, knives and explosives; whistles.

Road closures

Beginning April 21

Beginning April 27

April 30 and beyond

Originally posted in The Chicago Tribune