NFL estimates 600,000 attended the draft


The NFL’s TV ratings possibly were down by two percent for the first night of the draft in Nashville possible because all those extra people were actually at the draft in Nashville.

Via the Tennessean, the NFL initially estimated that 500,000 fans attended the event from Thursday through Saturday, before adjusting the estimate to 600,000.

With no turnstiles or other means for getting an official head count, the math can get fuzzy — and the numbers can conveniently get inflated, since the bigger the event seems, the better the deal the NFL can get from the cities that will be hosting it in the future.

Indeed, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp estimated crowds of 200,000 for Thursday and 200,000 for Friday, per the Tennessean. The third day, as usual, ended up being more sparse (as the photo accompanying this article suggests). Then again, the third day seems to last forever, so maybe 200,000 were there at different stages of a very long afternoon/early evening.

Whatever the official number, and whether it was or wasn’t influenced by the introduction of “alternative facts,” the draft is a big deal. Even though the ultimate reality show’s ultimate reality show is ultimately a show about nothing, since in light of today’s technology the whole thing could be done via group text message.

65 responses to “NFL estimates 600,000 attended the draft

  1. Buy all accounts the music city really knows how to throw/host a party and make everyone feel like they’re welcome. Always wanted to visit there and now I want to even more. The only sour grapes you’ll hear is from the east coast snobs that thinks the world ends at the New Jersey border. Well done Nashville!!

  2. NFL estimates 600,000 attended the draft

    This is an NFL estimate? Then its 25% too high just like their attendance figures are!

  3. Is it possible that a lot of people were in town for something else and just decided to see what all the fuss was about? It just seemed like a giant street festival that anyone could have meandered into.

  4. Great job Nashville! But will someone please tell me where the removed trees were removed from? Did they have any trees on downtown broadway? I need a before and after!

  5. I live in MN, but would vote for Nashville as the permanent home of the NFL draft.

    We don’t need NY or LV…

  6. Former Nashvillian, proud of the city for putting on such a great show!

    thefiesty1, the trees that were removed were re-planted in another area of town and were at the end of their life-cycle anyways and were scheduled to be replaced. Once the NFL Draft has packed up and completely left town, new trees will be installed.

  7. “Did they have any trees on downtown broadway?”

    The affected cherry trees were in Riverside Park on the Cumberland River. It’s close to Broadway, but not on Broadway.

  8. I was watching the draft anf the annoyucers said that there were 150,000 people, then Goodell came out and said it was 200,000 and all of the talking heads jumped right on board. The second day probably had about the same amount. But there is no way the third day had over 75,000 Broadway was have full, but it was the third day.

    All in all it was still looked like a good time was had by all even if the NFL inmflates the numbers for ratings.

    And on a second note about the draft cities, The draft should only be held in cities that can not host the superbowl. Give the cold weather cities (without domes) a piece of the pie. So no more Dallas, or LA or Miami, etc!

  9. Nashville was a terrible place to hold the draft. Unlike both Philly and Chicago, it doesn’t have a large plaza-like open space to host the draft. The draft crowd was basically in a large column flowing into downtown Nashville with most of the attendees being unengaged.

    The crowd was also significantly quieter than the loud Chicago crowd and the positively boisterous and high-volume Philly crowd. And the attendance of the draft on day three was significantly less than days one and two. It was also much less than the attendance in Philly on day three. Worst of all there was a section of premium seated spaces to watch the draft from which is the best place to watch the draft. A little over halfway through the first round those seats were at least if not mostly empty. I guess if it runs past 10pm you just give up and leave. Nashville football fans are undedicated, soft, and they suck.

    The Nashville fans failed to consistently and full-throatedly boo the Commisioner. This is a draft tradition and they barely heartily booed him on the first pick. Chicago gave him the business very well. Philly to their credit lustily booed the Commissioner every time he came on stage. They sounded like a mob at a witch burning. I hate the Eagles but Philly football fans are passionate fans with a deep love of the game. Huge crowds for all three days of the draft and they understand why the Goodell needs to be booed.

    I lived in Nashville and like the city a lot but this was terrible.

  10. I guess people in Nashville don’t have much of a life. Standing around, watching players get drafted seems like one heck of a boring way to spend a weekend. None of it matters until these players actually play.

  11. What is that someone up above states that people don’t have much of a life? I venture to say most if not all were partying before, after, and during the draft going from bar to bar enjoying the music and nightlife. Seems like a great way to spend a weekend.

  12. Maybe it was just the TV mics but it seemed a lot quieter than the Philly year, was more akin to how it was in Dallas. Could just be the mics as I say though

  13. I attended the draft.
    Disappointed that there was only one small VVIP section of bleachers which as noted above were half empty.
    NFL put a block of pre picked fans grouped by team up front to the stage with a huge buffer of empty space following that, and then another big space of VIP only standing access. What this did was move all the normal fans far down the street and offered lame views and a great “boo buffer” for goodell.
    Positive note, the city was very well prepared, well organized, easy to navigate, super friendly and a total blast when combined with downtown Nashville music and food and bars. Great atmosphere. Wouldn’t mind having it there again.
    Vegas will be a very different vibe and probably not in a good way.

  14. Geesh. This is insane. I didn’t go or watch on TV. I have a family and demandind job. I found out the final draft results last night. It took about 5 minutes searching the internet. It didn’t change my life.

  15. It’s become a party, much like the Mardi Gras. I’m glad that people have chosen to behave themselves so far.
    BTW — did anyone see the women who were all yanked because they scheduled their friend’s bachelorette party in Nashville and they didn’t know about the NFL having the draft there on the same weekend??
    Seems to me you’d have to have started that party about a week early not to know about the NFL draft being there. But even if they were plastered, you’d think they would have had some idea, wouldn’t you????
    You can’t make this stuff up!

  16. So 600,000 people booed Goodell? That must be the record for one person being booed, isn’t it?

  17. mackcarrington says:
    April 28, 2019 at 5:34 pm
    Is it possible that a lot of people were in town for something else and just decided to see what all the fuss was about? It just seemed like a giant street festival that anyone could have meandered into.

    Yes it’s possible…but attending is attending. And there really isn’t a way to confirm 600,000 people actually attended except eyeballing the crowd.

  18. I can’t imagine paying to go to this (or the combine for that matter). Whatever. To each their own.

  19. That appears to be more attendees than those who went to the 2017 presidential inauguration, estimated to be between 300,000 and 600,000 people.

  20. Those numbers are right up there with Trump’s inauguration if day three was another whopping 200,000 people. lol, Still impressive day one and two with 200,000 fans. I’m glad the draft is being held in different places though. It’s fun and new and not generic.

  21. have to say – – it did look like a fun time out there, great idea to make it outdoors, and a giant party . . .

  22. The people in the Mid-West are living the life you wished you had. They are passionate, loyal, hardworking and over the top polite. I am happy for the people of the great city of Nashville. You did GOOD.

  23. And after they counted the number of people that worked the event, there were 140.


  25. It’s nice to see the draft rotate since the SB only gets hosted by select cities. It also seems some of it is over the top. Scrounging up celebs who watch football or broadcasting a concert. I really don’t need former players coming out barking or trying to hype up the four fans of their team. Just read the pick or mumble, whatever. That’s the draft pick’s moment. Ah and booing Goodell is old hack. There was less of it in Nashville, probably due to them being polite folks.

  26. 3rd day does not need to be televised. The Cardinals “skit” ranked right down there with the Colts having an orangatang make their pick and Texans having there’s from outer space (or were they in a lab?

  27. Also, that band was very annoying. I know they were doing what they were paid to do but goodness gracious!

  28. Nashville looked like it was a good time for the different NFL fans there. Well done. SKOL

  29. The NFL went with the classic multi-day event recording method of counting someone going all 3 days as three different people.
    Whatever floats their boat.

    Not nearly as bad when sports leagues/teams lie about the economic impact of their stadiums and games since cities and states make decisions about tax payer money because of those

  30. From my view it was an awesome scene… I would have loved to have been there. The draft is like a three day “bash” for NFL lovers, and I am one of them, couldn’t get enough.. Go Nashville!! No one has done it better.

  31. I attended the draft for the first time as a nice coincidence to visiting family in Nashville and it was cool. Had never been to Nashville either and I came away thinking they were a great host. City was well prepared, clean, and tons of entertainment. Though you couldn’t get close to the stage, it was free so no biggie. Atmosphere was great, everyone in ‘their team’ jersey. Good football talk and mainly polite banter. Proximity to all the bars, food, etc…was fantastic. Warm weather (even though it rained day one) and Southern Hospitality.

    I certainly wouldn’t pay to attend the draft but hosting it in a warm climate city in April was a good choice. And with or without the draft, I had an awesome time in Nashville so it just added more people and excitement.

  32. There are just some cities that are fun to be around and have a good time such as Vegas, New Orleans, San Diego, LA, Miami, and Nashville.

  33. From plenty of experience, the way this usually works:

    PROMOTER TO CITY OFFICIALS: “How many people do you estimate?”

    CITY TO PROMOTER: “How many do you want us to say for all of us to look good?”

    PROMOTER TO CITY: “600,000 would really look good.”

    CITY TO PROMOTER: “We estimate 600,000.”

  34. It doesn’t make sense that people are criticizing the noise level… Why would a crowd of mixed fans from 32 different teams get loud for draft picks? You hate on the event for being boring to you and then criticize fans for not being loud enough?? You criticize the Titans’ pick for his incident in high school and then criticize the fans for not being loud enough when he is picked?

    Also the crowd was spread out down the street. Most of them couldn’t even see what was going on and I doubt their voices could carry all the way to the draft stage. A lot of salty Philly fans here…

  35. udub says: “The NFL went with the classic multi-day event recording method of counting someone going all 3 days as three different people.
    Whatever floats their boat.”

    As opposed to WHAT? Having a RFID chip implanted on all attendees to differentiate which ones are new and which ones are returning?

    And as I said in the previous post, crowd estimates are mainly used by business vendors to decide cost/benefit ratio. A person attending the second day will be just as thirsty as the first day.

  36. tomthebombtracy says: “From plenty of experience, the way this usually works:

    CITY TO PROMOTER: “How many do you want us to say for all of us to look good?”

    If you had any REAL experience, then you’d know what you said is complete BS.

    Crowd estimate is used for business vendors and event planning. OVERESTIMATING a crowd will DECREASE future vendor participation, as businesses will see less return than expected. Every vendor has a reasonable calculation of what sales will be per attendee.

    OVERESTIMATING a crowd also significantly raises future EXPENSES. Safety laws requires a certain number of police, paramedics and fire crews per 1,000 attendees. Extra washroom facilities needs to be set up. Etc. etc. etc.

    Finally, WHAT’S THE POINT OF OVERESTIMATING A CROWD TO THE PUBLIC? IS 550,000 really that less impressive?

  37. Rdog says:
    April 29, 2019 at 8:44 am

    That’s more than double the attendance in Philly or any other draft city so far.

    But let’s not forget the fact that Nashville is the “the country music capital of the world” and the home of the “Country music Hall of Fame” and it averages 278,000 visitors a week so how can they claim that all 600,000 people were there just for the draft when they get nearly 300,000 a week with no draft going on? I bet a lot of the published number weren’t even there for the draft and don’t even care about football, they were just country music fans visiting the most famous city in the world for their music!

  38. I was at the draft from Buffalo…. Unbelievable how well it was run. Tons of Space….. perfect weather, able to get food and drinks with no lines. Seriously impressed, they should hold the draft there every year.

  39. I’m a Titans fan who lives in Charlotte. I drove over for the draft and, except for one hour of rain opening night, it was an incredible experience. It’s wild to see what Nashville has become over the past decade. Back in the ’90s, we used to sarcastically call it “Nashvegas.” And now it … really is. Crazy.

  40. I was in the Texans INNER CIRCLE by the stage and got to fist-bump about half the players coming off. Bucket list item checked! Incredible trip. I’m an OkState grad and knowing that OU’s Murray was going in the first few picks, I wore my OSU hat.. when he came down the steps, I showed it to him. He laughed and high-fived me as he went to the back. NashVegas was awesome..

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.