The NFL Draft will be hosted in Philly this year, and the three-day event is fast approaching. The draft is expected to draw more than 150,000 visitors, which could beat Pope Francis, who drew approximately 142,000.
Here’s your evolving guide to NFL Draft weekend: what we know, what we don’t know (yet), and what you should do to prepare for road closures, traffic, and events.
This list was updated April 25.
When is the actual draft happening, and why is it a three-day event?
The actual draft kicks off on Thursday, April 27, at 6 p.m. and will run until Saturday, April 29. The draft itself is extremely hard to get tickets for. Your options are basically a lottery, a standby wait, or paying thousands of dollars.
But if you don’t get a ticket to watch the draft, events for the NFL Draft Experience will begin that Thursday at noon with special events on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for visitors.
The Parkway will be open:Thursday, April 27, from 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.Friday, April 28, from 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m – 6 p.m. Schedule:Draft Red Carpet — Thursday 6 p.m.Round 1 (the first 32 picks) — Thursday 8 p.m.Rounds 2 and 3 (picks 33-107) — Friday 7 p.m.Rounds 4-7 (final selections) — Saturday 12 p.m.
Where is this happening in Center City?
The NFL Draft Theater will be constructed on top of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps, and the entire Benjamin Franklin Parkway will host games, exhibits and free player autograph sessions for the Draft Experience.
It’s a free event, so no tickets are required to get on to the Parkway.
If you want to avoid the commotion, NFL.com has options for watching the draft.
Will museums along the Parkway be closed, or have modified hours, that weekend?
It looks like most of the cultural centers and museums in the area will hold normal hours, and some will even extend their hours or offer special programs for visitors.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art will be open to visitors and accessible at the west entrance.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is offering free admission to all visitors.
The Franklin Institute is functioning under normal orders, but will have a $2 discount on adult general admission for visitors wearing NFL jerseys.
On a scale of ‘sunny Saturday traffic’ to #PopeInPhilly closures, what are roads going to look like?
The full list of closures is pretty extensive, and begins on Monday, April 10, with some lasting until May 8. Full road closures for the event begin on 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, April 25, and will extend until Monday, May 1, at 5 p.m.
Closures are broken into four phases, beginning Monday, April 10.
If you’re a bicyclist or driver in the area, refer to the different phases of road closures via the Office of Special Events.
Phase 1:Beginning on Monday, April 10, at 12:01 a.m. and ending Sunday, May 7, at 11:59 p.m.Spring Garden Street westbound will close at Pennsylvania Avenue. The westbound center roadway of Benjamin Franklin Parkway will maintain two lanes from 20th Street to Eakins Oval. The left lane of Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed from East Eakins Oval to Spring Garden St. and continue to southbound Kelly Drive, where it will open up to three travel lanes. The right two lanes of Eakins Oval in front of the Art Museum steps will be closed for the building of the theatre. Southbound Kelly Drive will have a lane drop between 25th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Phase 2: Beginning Wednesday, April 19, at 12:01 a.m. and ending Tuesday, May 2, at 11:59 p.m.The inner lanes (inbound and outbound) of Benjamin Franklin Parkway willl be closed from Eakins Oval to 20th Street.
Phase 3:Beginning Monday, April 24, at 7 p.m. and ending Monday, May 1, at 5 a.m.The Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed from 20th Street to the Art Museum. Martin Luther King Drive will remain open to 24th Street. Eastbound Spring Garden Street will remain open from 31st Street to 24th Street. Kelly Drive will be closed at Fairmount Avenue with traffic detoured onto Fairmount Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Starting on Monday, April 24, at 7 p.m. due to the closure of the outer lanes on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, traffic headed inbound (to Center City) from Spring Garden Street Bridge or Martin Luther King Drive must exit Eakins Oval on the 24th Street ramp.
Traffic headed inbound on Kelly Drive must exit Kelly Drive at Fairmount Avenue. Those wishing to access the rear of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the north side must exit onto Fairmount Avenue, turn right on Pennsylvania Avenue and proceed southbound on 25th Street onto Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive.
Phase 4:Full extent of road closures begins Tuesday, April 25, at 12:01 a.m. and end Monday, May 1, at 5 a.m.
Martin Luther King Drive closed at Sweet Briar Drive, starting at 12PM on 4/26 and reopening at 5 AM on 5/1. Road will not be opened during peak AM rush hour.
21st Street closed from Winter Street to Spring Garden Street
Local access to Pennsylvania Avenue only (all traffic must turn left)
22nd Street closed from Race Street to Spring Garden Street
Local access to Park Towne Place only (residents)
23rd Street closed from Fairmount Avenue to Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Local access only
24th Street closed from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Park Towne Place
Local access only
Kelly Drive closed from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Fairmount Avenue
Spring Garden Street Bridge closed at 31st Street at I-76 ramp
Local access to I-76 westbound will be maintainedLocal access to Art Museum will be maintained (via Anne d’ Harnoncourt Drive)
Spring Garden Street closed from 22nd Street to Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Local access after peak AM rush hour
Pennsylvania Avenue closed from Hamilton Street to Fairmount Avenue
Local access after peak AM rush hour
Pennsylvania Avenue/Callowhill Street closed from 20th Street to 21st Street
Local access to Barnes Foundation driveway (westbound) only
Eastbound open from 21st Street
Park Towne Place closed from 22nd Street to 24th Street
Local access only (residents)
I-676 westbound 22nd Street off-ramp closed
The following streets be designated “local access only” west of 22nd Street:
Mt. Vernon Street
The following streets be designated “local access only” east of 22nd Street:
To clarify, local access means that residents and workers can access roads and parking lots at all times. During event days, residents may be asked by police on duty to provide identification.
No parking on 2400 Pennsylvania Avenue (south side angle parking only) from Wednesday, April 5, to Monday, May 8
Pennsylvania Avenue between 22nd Street & Fairmount Avenue (south side of street only) Wednesday, April 26, to Monday, May 1
Winter Street between 20th & 22nd Streets (both sides of street) Wednesday, April 26, to Monday, May 1
20th Street between Vine & Callowhill Streets (east side of street only) Wednesday, April 26, to Monday, May 1
21st Street between Benjamin Franklin Parkway & Race Street (both sides of street) Wednesday, April 26, to Monday, May 1
22nd Street between Winter & Spring Garden Streets (both sides of street) Wednesday, April 26, to Monday, May 1
Park Towne Place between 22nd & 24th Streets (both sides of street) Wednesday, April 26, to Monday, May 1
Bicycle Lane Detours: During venue construction, a number of bicycle lanes along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Eakins Oval, and in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will be detoured. Appropriate signage will be prominently displayed, and cyclists are advised to use marked detours.
Will SEPTA schedules be altered?
Everything will be business as usual for the weekend. Extra trains will operate on the Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines but resume regular weekend schedules Saturday, April 29. All current construction projects will be postponed Thursday, April 27, through Saturday, April 29.
Regional Rail off-peak trains will have additional cars to compensate for possible increases in ridership during the events.
The city cautions people that there may be delays, particularly during event days, morning and evening rush hours and during busy times at the event grounds.