Weekly Top 5: Hot Tips for Nashville's NFL Draft Weekend
If you work or live downtown, you have most definitely noticed the flurry of activity taking place while gearing up for the NFL Draft. It’s what I would call A LOT. As someone who has both worked downtown and generally ventured downtown for many years now, I’ve seen lots of activity leading up to events: I’ve seen the set up for CMA Music Fest, the pandemonium of Preds playoffs, and the rigamarole of 4th of July fireworks on the riverfront. I have dealt with all the headaches that come from the traffic, the parking, and the crowds, and it is not what I would call, super fun. All that said, the set up for the NFL Draft seems to be eclipsing any of the aforementioned events – not to mention the Music City Marathon and Jimmy Buffet concert that are going down the same dang weekend. There is going to be some super cool stuff happening downtown, so if you don’t have any plans, come on down! The CVC has all the deets you need, but I wanted to share five more things to know about downtown Nashville this weekend.
1. This whole event is freaking huge….and so is Tootsie’s!
At 65-feet tall and 165-feet wide, the main stage for the NFL Draft was constructed right over the Cumberland River. If you haven’t already done so, I’d recommend going for a walk across the Pedestrian Bridge so you can get a real good look! It sure is something. Another thing that’s freaking huge? Tootsies! The place has doubled in size...literally. The NFL is broadcasting from an [assumedly temporary] extension built right off the front of the iconic, lavender-hued honky tonk — and it looks just like the real deal. Plus, it’s taken up half of the street!
2. Say sayonara to the riverfront this weekend.
Due to the stage, the riverfront is completely blocked off until Monday. Which means you can’t walk on the pathway behind Ascend, you can’t drive down 1st Ave between Demonbreun and Church Street, and you definitely can’t miss the fact that there’s some major event going on; there are fences and signs and these big electronic arch things everywhere!
3. Speaking of road closures….taaaxi!!!
Parking (and driving) is going to be a real b*tch this weekend. Don’t you dare assume that taking a Lyft or Uber is going to solve all your problems and don’t you even think about Bird- or Lime-scootering down Broadway to zip to the front of the stage. Not only are there massive concrete barricades stationed in the middle of about half of the streets downtown, but the areas have been geo-fenced as “red zoned” for scootering. But parking about a mile away and walking all the way down to the heart of the action? Now that sounds like juuust the ticket! You can check out all of the road closures here. Wear comfortable shoes!
4. Pack light.
Not only are the roads closed off as a way to create a safe space for fun-having in the middle of Broadway, but there are security checkpoints all along the perimeter of said party zone where bags are being checked...and some of them even confiscated! So, don’t bring a backpack or even a big tote bag when you head downtown; people are having to give them up just to get onto Broadway. My suggestion? Pack that good old fashioned NFL-approved, clear, plastic purse you have on hand for football season. Suuuper cute.
5. You’re gonna make a million-ish new friends.
It is projected that more than 100,000 people will be coming to Downtown Nashville each day! So expect crowds, lines, slow-walking and everything else that always comes along with these big-deal events. The people-watching is gonna be off the charts, but just make sure to pack a little bit of patience in your pocket when you head downtown (Just remember — don’t put it in your backpack. That will be confiscated.)