In just a few weeks, the 2019 NFL Draft will take over the Music City. Hundreds of thousands of fans will break out their best jerseys, bars their best deals, and reporters their very best—or very worst—sports puns.
Fortunately for 21c Nashville guests, most official NFL Draft events will take place less than a mile from our hotel, putting an entire “Draft village” and multi-stage music festival within walking distance. For any one fan, it’s a lot to take in. So let’s huddle up and tackle the weekend game plan, from kickoff to fourth down.
Thursday, April 25
Start your weekend at the NFL Draft Experience. Held at Nissan Stadium, this free three-day festival will have everything from exhibits and games, to virtual reality experiences and autograph sessions with current and former NFL stars. At Taste of Tailgate, you can sample foods from local restaurants. And over at the NFL Experience music stage, you can catch free performances from Nashville stars.
Thursday night, grab your selfie stick and head to the NFL Draft Red Carpet. It’ll be on The Green at Riverfront Park, just half a mile from our hotel. Afterwards, rehash the details of your celebrity sightings over a nightcap—or late dinner—at Gray & Dudley. Conveniently located right within our hotel, Gray & Dudley serves delicious seasonal and locally-sourced dishes.
Friday, April 26
Official NFL Draft events don’t start until noon, so there’s plenty of time to make the 15-minute trek to Rotier’s Restaurant. This Nashville staple has been cranking out legendary cheeseburgers since 1945. Pair one with a cold beer and basket of poutine, and call it a complete breakfast.
Next, check out The Main Stage at First and Broadway or Selection Square. The Main Stage will host “A-list concerts” (artists to be announced in the coming weeks) and, during the evenings, live NFL Draft selections. Over at Selection Square, held in the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, you can watch as team representatives from each club make their selections.
For dinner, Emmy Squared is a must. Originally from Brooklyn, this Detroit-style pizza joint recently opened its third location in the trendy Gulch neighborhood. Our picks? The Hatchback (mozzarella, Zia hatch chilies, chorizo, crema and radishes) or the Plain Shame, with crispy chicken, wing sauce, scallions, Kenny’s blue cheese and radishes.
Saturday, April 27
Saturday afternoon, catch the final afternoon of NFL Draft picks at The Main Stage, or take one final tour through The NFL Draft Experience.
If you haven’t had your fill of hot chicken (or heartburn), round out your visit with a trip to Hattie B’s. Though the restaurant is typically pretty packed, it’s well worth the wait.
With so much to see and do—nearly all of which will be free and open to the public—it’s no wonder attendance is expected to grow into the hundreds of thousands. As such, we highly suggest booking your stay early. Otherwise, you may end up watching it all go down from the sidelines.
Photos courtesy of Visit Music City.