2019 Nashville NFL Draft Travel Guide
Going to the 2019 NFL Draft party in Nashville? Rest easier and stress less making your travel plans thanks to these helpful ideas from Sleep Number—the official sleep + wellness partner of the NFL.
For most, pro football is a spectator sport. You entertain friends and family at home and watch in front of the big screen, eating chili and nachos (or, even better, chili nachos). Even in the stadium, you watch your favorite players from afar. Except during the annual NFL Draft, when more than 250,000 fans get inside the sport.
During the three-day NFL Draft Experience, fans attend a street festival-style celebration with themed indoor and outdoor activities. You can: test your own football skills; get memorabilia signed by some of the league’s high-profile players; attend clinics; and, of course, keep track of the new recruits to your favorite teams.
The 2019 NFL Draft Experience takes place in Nashville in April 25-27. This is the first time Music City has hosted the draft, and the city is pulling out all the Southern hospitality stops, hosting events in some of the city’s best venues. ABC will broadcast the live concerts (this is Music City, after all), while ESPN and the NFL Network will handle the sport-centric fun.
If you’re weighing a southern jaunt for a little football, a little honky-tonking, and a lot of fun, here are some ideas for your trip:
ADVANCE PLANNING FOR BEST ACCESS
Closer to the date of the 84th annual draft, the NFL will release a 2019 version of its free Fan Mobile Pass app for your phone, or you can sign up for info through the draft website. You’ll get alerts when official events that require tickets are available.
While the NFL Draft Experience, that three-day festival, does not require tickets, VIP events do, and there will also be some opportunities for perks, such as getting to the front of a coveted autograph-signing line. In addition, there will be chances for fans to win a seat inside to watch the actual draft proceedings. Last year in Dallas, fans could walk the red carpet the day before the players. The NFL will roll out details on what’s happening in Nashville, so make sure you have those alerts set.
DON’T SKIMP ON SLEEP
Draft weekend coincides with the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon, so it’ll be a busy few days. Book your hotel room now. A comfortable bed and a good night’s rest are essential for having fun, after all. Most of the draft action will be downtown, so choose a hotel in the area so you are in walking distance. A few suggestions (no partnership or affiliation with Sleep Number) are:
- SoBro Guest House is an apartment building that was converted into a hotel. Rooms are suites with decent common areas and full, but small, kitchens. For a fee, they will stock the fridge. This is a great choice if you’re traveling with kids and want space to decompress.
- The Fairlane Hotel bills itself as a retro-modern experience, housed in an old bank building. The Fairlane has impeccable service, sleek design and a delicious deli in the lobby.
- JW Marriott Nashville is the city’s newest luxury hotel. Across the street from the Music City Center convention area, a key location for Draft activities, this glass skyscraper will offer great views of the crowds from up high, but also easy access when you’re ready to participate.
REST YOUR FEET AT SLEEP NUMBER AREA IN NISSAN STADIUM PARKING LOT
Rest your feet and take care of yourself by walking over to the Sleep Number area in the Nissan Stadium parking lot. Why? Well, Sleep Number is the official sleep+wellness partner of the NFL so you’ll have a chance to meet NFL players, win prizes, and experience the amazing comfort of Sleep Number smart beds.
MAKE THE MOST OF MUSIC CITY
While here, you can’t skip seeing some live music. Broadway is downtown’s main thoroughfare, dotted with honky-tonk bars (as well as shops and restaurants) every few feet offering live music and a dance floor with no cover charge (but, please, drop in a tip for the band when the hat is passed). Most of these bars along Broadway are even open to those under the age of 21 during the day (other bars in the city are not), so you can teach the kids some boot-scooting and Western swing. Robert’s Western World, Nudie’s Honky Tonk — named for a famous Nashville tailor, not a state of undress — and Blake Shelton’s Ole Red are good places to start.
Entertainment in Nashville is not just about the music. House of Cards turns dinner into a high-quality magic show — there’s a dress code, so if you plan to watch the sleight-of-hand, pack appropriately. The Frist Art Museum is housed in a magnificent old post office. Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is adjacent to a farmers’ market and the Tennessee State Museum, the trio making for a full day.
FEAST ON NASHVILLE’S FOODIE FINDS
The aforementioned Nashville Farmers’ Market is a great place to grab lunch, with a food court focused on local ingredients and local chefs. The wood-fired pizza at Bella Nashville is a particularly good way to warm up in January. Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant offers your Southern food fix downtown.
Being among a quarter of a million fellow fans, meeting some of the sport’s best Draft picks, getting to experience that energy as everyone gets ready for a new football season, and enjoying everything Nashville has to offer, well, that makes a Music City Draft trip a touchdown for everyone.
Sleep Number is the Official Sleep + Wellness Partner of the NFL. Whether you’re an elite athlete or an everyday all-star, sleep is a vital component to help you recover and perform physically and mentally. The Sleep Number 360®smart bed with SleepIQ® technology inside senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you sleeping comfortably. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night’s sleep.