Las Vegas to Welcome 85th NFL Draft in April 2020
Everyone already knows the NFL Draft will take place in Las Vegas, but only recently has an actual itinerary for the event been released. Very recently—January 21st, to be exact—the Clark County Commissioners approved the overall plans for the event.
Of course, you could watch all three days of the Draft on NFL Network, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, or ABC—take your pick. But if you want to be part of the history, you’ll need to be in Las Vegas on April 23-25, 2020. That’s the only way you can participate in what one organizer calls “the kick-off [of] the NFL’s next hundred years.”
Sure, “85th NFL Draft” might suggest that somebody’s math is a tad off, but while the NFL Draft—also called the Player Selection Meeting—started in 1936, the National Football League was actually founded in 1920. Of course, it was called the American Professional Football Association at the time, but in 1922, it switched to the National Football League. So, imaginary math crisis avoided.
Incidentally, according to the Clark County Commissioners, there will be numerous road closures during the three-day event, including Las Vegas Boulevard in front of the Bellagio, as well as Flamingo from the Strip to Koval Lane, and, naturally, other closures to be named at a future date. You can follow @ClarkCountyNV on Twitter for the latest in closures and other travel restrictions.
Getting back to the Draft itself, the three main venues of the 85th NFL Draft are the NFL Draft Red Carpet, the NFL Draft Main Stage, and the NFL Draft Experience.
NFL Draft Red Carpet
How is it possible that in 85 years, no one ever thought to build a red-carpeted platform upon which NFL luminaries could make an entrance? Well, no matter—someone has finally thought of it, so this year, if you’re among the anointed, you’ll be making your entrance on a red carpet in front of the Fountains of Bellagio.
And that isn’t “in front” as in “on the sidewalk.” No. In this case, the special red-carpeted platform is being constructed in the pool surrounding the fountains. A boat will deliver the various players, dignitaries, et al, to one end, while we hoi polloi watch respectfully from the sidewalk as they make their way to the center stage. Drinking game: Every time some “clever” TV commentator says, “fresh off the boat.”
NFL Draft Main Stage
The Main Stage is being constructed outside Caesars Forum and will provide the focus for the main business of the Draft—three days and nights of bartering for new players and trading veteran players with abandon.
Since watching people in business suits argue about money is not the epitome of entertainment it should be, the Main Stage will also feature “headlining acts” all three days of the Draft.
Round one takes place April 23rd—Thursday—in the evening. Rounds two and three are the following evening, and rounds four through seven are on Saturday evening.
NFL Draft Experience
Right next to the Main Stage will be the NFL Draft Experience—basically a three-day football festival for those who can never get enough football, as if such a thing were possible. The festivities will include interactive games (40-yard dash, anyone?), autograph sessions with NFL players, and giveaways galore. Don’t forget to get a selfie standing next to the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Up on the Draft Experience stage, they’ll be presenting plenty of Las Vegas talent, as well as something they call “interactive NFL-themed experiences.”
The NFL Draft Experience is free and open to fans each day of the Draft.
- Thursday, April 23: Noon through 9pm or the end of round one
- Friday, April 24: Noon through 9pm or the end of round three
- Saturday, April 25: 9am through 6pm or the end of round seven
Another interesting point worth keeping in mind over the upcoming months is that you can bet on the NFL Draft. It is Vegas, after all.