ARLINGTON, Texas – NFL Draft week in North Texas has arrived.
The league is making its final preparations for the April 26-28 event at the Cowboys' game-day home, AT&T Stadium. It's the first-ever draft held at an NFL stadium, and it promises to have something for everyone – for fans who won draft tickets through the lottery system, and for those who plan to visit the free, three-day NFL Draft Experience open to the public outside the stadium.
Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson and NFL Senior Vice President of Events Peter O'Reilly speak during a news conference previewing the 2018 NFL Draft, Monday, April 23, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. The draft will be held April 26-28, 2018 at AT&T Stadium.
Charlotte Jones Anderson, Cowboys executive vice president and chief brand officer, said almost 400,000 fans have registered on the NFL Draft Fan Mobile Pass app, including 40 percent from outside the North Texas region. While there isn't an exact estimate of how many fans will attend the NFL Draft Experience – a massive festival spanning the size of 26 football fields – it's clear that the draft is shaping up to be a Texas-sized success.
The 2018 draft is in fact the largest event in NFL history, and the 20,000-seat theater constructed inside AT&T Stadium "is far and away the largest draft theater that the NFL has ever created," said Peter O'Reilly, the NFL's senior vice president of events.
"We encourage everybody, even if you didn't win a ticket in the lottery, the opportunity is to come down and experience a little bit of something for everybody across the three days," O'Reilly said. "And there's a very high likelihood if you're down here on this Draft Experience footprint, that you'll have the chance to get upgraded to go into the stadium at some point on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. That's important for people to know."
The Fan Mobile Pass app provides a unique QR code that provides a "Single Sign On" to register for all the activitie
s taking place. With the app, fans attending the free NFL Draft Experience can receive photos and videos, updated event information and maps, and opportunities to win prizes and giveaways. No tickets are required to the experience.
In addition, through the Fan Mobile Pass app, fans will have the chance to receive standby tickets into the NFL Draft Theater as seating becomes available. The free app is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.
The NFL Draft Experience, presented by Oikos Triple Zero®, opens at noon (Central Time) Thursday, noon Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. Highlights of the NFL Draft Experience will include:
- Thursday night, attendees can watch their favorite prospects on the Red Carpet presented by Verizon, and they will have the opportunity to walk it as fans on Friday night.
- Saturday, a pair of Super Bowl tickets will be given away to one lucky fan attending the experience.
- Fans in attendance on Saturday will also be randomly selected to participate in the 2018 Draft and make team selections from the podium of the NFL Draft Theater.
"This has been an incredible experience having the opportunity to work with the NFL on the draft, and the people here in our community have gone above and beyond to not only welcome the NFL but to actually execute and make this happen," Anderson said.
"We're excited with the Dallas Cowboys, but what is so important is that anyone who is a fan of the game at any level will want to come be a part of this draft."