CHICAGO – The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) announced the road closures and traffic impacts that will be in place leading up to and for the 2015 NFL Draft. The event will bring fans and participants to the Grant Park and Roosevelt University area.
The 2015 Draft, to be held from Thursday, April 30 through Saturday, May 2, will take place at Roosevelt University’s historic Auditorium Theatre, and for the first time, will expand to include outdoor festivities. Congress Plaza will host Selection Square, home of the 32 team Draft tables; and Grant Park will be transformed into Draft Town presented by Oikos Triple Zero, a free, three-day outdoor interactive fan football festival spanning the size of 15 football fields.
„The NFL, Choose Chicago, the Chicago Sports Commission and City personnel have partnered to plan and coordinate this world-class event in Chicago to ensure a safe and positive experience for prospective draftees, spectators, residents and volunteers,” said OEMC Executive Director Gary Schenkel.
Traffic will be impacted by street closures in the Grant Park area that will occur in preparation for the Draft. Those traveling near Grant Park should allow extra time, expect delays and consider alternate routes to avoid the impacts of the NFL Draft footprint.
Some road closures will be implemented ahead of the NFL Draft Weekend to allow for set up:
• Michigan (SB) between Congress to Van Buren will temporarily be closed on April 21 from 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
• Michigan (NB) between Van Buren and Congress will temporarily be closed on April 21 from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
• Congress between Michigan and Columbus – including Congress Circle – will be closed beginning April 22 at 6 a.m. and will be reopened on May 8.
• Columbus between Balbo and Jackson will be closed from April 27 at 6 a.m. and will reopen May 4.
On Thursday, April 30 the following temporary road closures will be implemented:
• Michigan between Balbo and Jackson from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
• Wabash between Harrison and Jackson from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
• Van Buren between Michigan and State from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
• Congress between Michigan and State from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
In addition to full road closures, lane reductions or temporary sidewalk closures may be implemented to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians.
Motorists are strongly encouraged to pay attention to temporary „No Parking Zones” signage posted about parking restrictions that will be in effect along the Grant Park area for the event. For public safety and traffic flow, the towing of vehicles along the route and other posted “No Parking Zones” will be strictly enforced. Motorists can call 3-1-1 to locate a towed vehicle.
Chicago will also host the 124th Annual Polish Constitution Day Parade on May 2, which will kick off at Dearborn and Wacker Drive at11:30 a.m. Duke University Coach Mike Krzyzewski, a Polish American Chicago native, will serve as the Honorary Grand Marshall. The parade includes over 100 marching units representing traditional folk and modern pop bands, horse-drawn carriages, beauty queens, motorcycle clubs and dancing groups. Attendees are urged to wear red and white, Poland’s national colors, and join the celebration.
As always, public transportation is encouraged if heading to the NFL Draft events, the Polish Constitution Day Parade or other destinations in the impacted area. For more information on CTA services and reroutes, visit transitchicago.com or call 312-836-7000/1-888-YOUR-CTA. For more information about Metra service in the area, visit metrarail.com or (312) 322-6777.
Safety is always a primary concern and several security measures and restrictions that have been implemented for other large-scale events in the area will be enforced. Additionally, the Traffic Management Authority, in coordination with the Chicago Police Department, will facilitate vehicular and pedestrian traffic for the weekend.
As with any large event in Chicago, OEMC will continue to monitor weather conditions throughout the weekend. NFL events are commonly held in inclement weather. Only in the case of extreme weather that threatens public safety will the event potentially be postponed. In the unlikely event that such a situation occurs, information for fans will be made available on NFL.com/Draft.
The public is encouraged to register for free emergency alerts from the City of Chicago, which include severe weather notifications, by subscribing to NotifyChicago at notifychicago.org.
The 2015 NFL Draft is an historic event for the city, marking the first time the city has hosted the event since 1963.
For more information on the 2015 NFL Draft, visit http://www.choosechicago.com/2015nfldraft/.