Washington Huskies Players/Fans attending NFL Draft? Here is a quick visitor’s guide.

Apr 28, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of 2016 NFL Draft logo at Los Angeles Rams draft party at L.A. Live. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of 2016 NFL Draft logo at Los Angeles Rams draft party at L.A. Live. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

So you are a Washington Huskies Player/Fan Attending the 2017 NFL Draft? Here is a quick visitor’s guide

The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a rich treasure-trove of history, culture, and worthwhile sights. But to a newcomer, the city is a maze of busy streets, one-way impasses, and throngs of pedestrians who all seem to have a better idea of where they are going then you do.  So let me help.  After all, Washington Huskies fans have always been warm and welcoming to new visitors. So with a little study and preparations, hopefully we can get you where you want to go, and where you want to be.

First and foremost, the city of Philadelphia has already announced a swath of road closures due to the NFL Draft.  On one hand, if you are visiting, and are renting a car, you can save yourself a great deal of aggravation by leaving PLENTY OF TIME in your schedule to get from the airport to your hotel. On the other hand, keep in mind that the closer you stay to the event, the more likely traffic will be disrupted.

Roads and Parking

As with any major event, you can expect city planners to partition off event areas from vehicular traffic. That typically means inconvenience to anyone trying to get from point A to point B as the roads not directly impacted must handle a greater portion of commuting traffic.

Here are the planned road closures.

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  • For the actual map, this link sends you to a pdf document.  NFL Draft – Traffic Plan Map. The map is fairly detailed, and is simply an aerial photograph (without names) with various phases highlighted with colors to reflect parking restrictions and road closures. I emphatically sticking with the first link narrative, which gives street names and times in effect for both parking and road closures.

    Culture Changes

    Before anyone from the west coast experiences culture shock, let me forewarn you.  East coast residents are opinionated.  Conversations can turn to disagreements.  It’s not only expected, it’s polite.

    Philadelphia fans are intelligent, impassioned, or a strong combination of both.   You can judge which type quickly by how quickly they pull out an insult.  Don’t take it to heart.  Being insulted in a sports topic discussion.   It’s the equivalent to a white flag.  Simply chuckle and move on the better discussions elsewhere.

    Driving And Walking

    Driving and walking is more aggressive.  Not that folks will steer at you for a collision or to knock you down, but if you hesitate, you can be certain someone will take advantage of the opening to pull in front or walk around you.  Courteously move to the slower lane or off the sidewalk traffic if you need to confirm your directions.

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  • But if you are not sure of the way, ask. Strong opinions mean concise directions. Philadelphians will not steer you wrong, particularly if you seek a great meal or music club.

    The Event

    The PhiladelphiaEagles.com website has a great account of the event.  Be sure to check it out. Here is a sample extract from their Draft Event coverage:

    2. When Is The NFL Draft Experience Open?

    • Thursday: Noon to 11 p.m. (Draft starts at 8 p.m.)
    • Friday: Noon to 11 p.m. (Draft starts at 7 p.m.)
    • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Draft starts at noon.)

    Fans can enter the NFL Draft Experience at one of three locations:

    At Gate 1: North 21st Street and Ben Franklin Parkway
    Gate 2: North 22nd Street and Ben Franklin Parkway
    At Gate 9: North 22nd Street and Pennsylvania Drive

    There are a number of security measures in place for the NFL Draft Experience, make sure to check out the full list here.


    Need a place to stay? Fear not.  There is a ready made HotelPlanner.com website specifically designed to help you find a place near the action.  I checked at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon and there were still plenty of full service or deeply discounted options.

    If you want to check out nightclubs and bars, here is a great website with reviews from PhillyInsider.com Michael Stein.

    If you want a more formal dining experience, there is this self help website by Rachel Vigoda. The site not only has a good description, but also has a map with a locator indicator, so you can find the restaurant on the map to judge travel times.

    More from The Husky Haul

    Street Vendors Can’t Be Beat

    Now, that is not to say there won’t be food vendors throughout the Draft locations. They will be there, and they are a cherished memory.  I HIGHLY recommend street vendor soft pretzels (smothered in mustard). And if you are not planning a venture to a Philly cheesesteak restaurant, you can get awfully close to the vendor vans that will be amidst the festivities.

    Finally, if you want to see other “non-NFL Draft” sights, you can get both the 2017 NFL Draft and non draft points of interest from PENNLIVE.com’s website.

    If there was ever an event to go and let “life happen” to you, this is it.  Aim at a destination, but as you drive, walk, bus, or cab to the goal, smell the smells, soak up the ambiance.  This is a once in a lifetime moment.   Live each moment to it’s fullest.  The city of Philadelphia is the “City of Brotherly Love” earns its name.

    Next: WNBA Underway for Washington Huskies Alumni Kelsey Plum

    Learn to soak up that love. You’ll be glad you did.