The Chiefs Kingdom hadn’t fully come off the high after winning Super Bowl LVII in February when a new roadshow rolled into town last week. Kansas City hosted the 88th edition of the NFL Draft over three days from April 27-29. And the folks came out in packs. However, it was Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes who played a pivotal role in the houseful draft day attendance.
2x Super Bowl MVP Mahomes continued his dominance on the record books when he helped Kansas City reach a historic milestone. And all he had to do was make an earnest plea to his fans.
Kansas City sets draft day attendance record thanks to Patrick Mahomes
The Kansas City draft had a football field-sized arena outside the Union Station with the biggest screens and the largest stage in NFL history. “I can’t wait. Let’s go KC,” Mahomes tweeted. He followed it up with another tweet on the Day 1 of the draft. “Draft day. Let’s go,” he said. And the Chiefs Kingdom couldn’t say no to their 2x champion quarterback.
According to NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy, the 2013 NFL Draft saw a historic attendance of 312,000 people, as per the Kansas City Star. Initially, the predicted footfall was somewhere in the 300,000 range, with the possibility of going up to 600,000, depending on weather scenarios. The weather didn’t disappoint. However, the attendance capped at around 312,000. This was 12,000 more than the previous high set by Las Vegas in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The NFL Draft was held in New York City from 1964 to 2014 before it went out to stop at different destinations every year. This has helped the cities revive their economies in a major way through travel, hotels, restaurants, and the sale of food and beverages.
Mahomes and Kelce showed up to welcome the home crowd
Moments before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Bryce Young as the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft for the Carolina Panthers, the Chiefs Kingdom in attendance had a treat lined up for them. Patrick Mahomes showed up with the Vince Lombardi trophy in one hand and his trusted tight-end weapon, Travis Kelce, in the other. The two set the stage on fire and Mahomes even trivially attempted to throw the Lombardi into the crowd. This was certainly not the first time Mahomes tried giving the championship trophy away to fans.
The 2024 NFL Draft is going to Detroit. Surely, the Lions need more than just a participatory place in the NFC North division to attract the same crowd. However, a Super Bowl for Detroit can probably surpass the attendance numbers set by the Missouri fan base this year. Although that remains a long shot in reality