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March 26, 2017

Philly bracing for 2017 NFL Draft; what to expect around venue

Events NFL Draft
Carroll - Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

On Monday, the 2017 NFL Draft will officially be one month away and all eyes will be on Philadelphia. City officials are busy finalizing details on how preparations will affect residents and businesses.

On Friday, the Mayor's Office released additional information about road closures, bike lane detours, parking restrictions, special deals at city attractions and more during the upcoming event. The draft will take place Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Eakins Oval and the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. However, restrictions will take effect beginning, Monday, April 10 until Tuesday, May 2.

League officials have already announced that an open-air theater will be constructed outside the Art Museum to host the draft and a free outdoor football festival for fans of all ages to participate in exhibits. Tickets will be required to enter the theater, but not for the festival.

Visitors are urged to use public transportation to the event. Free parking will be available at the sports complex where people can hop on the Broad Street Line at AT&T Station.

To set up the venues, the city is instituting road closures in phases:

First phase - April 10 to May 7

• Spring Garden Street westbound will close at Pennsylvania Avenue

• The westbound center roadway of Benjamin Franklin Parkway will maintain two lanes from 20th Street to Eakins Oval. The left lane of Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed from East Eakins Oval to Spring Garden Street and continue to southbound Kelly Drive, where it will open up to three travel lanes

• The right two lanes of Eakins Oval in front of the Art Museum steps will be closed

• Southbound Kelly Drive will have a lane drop between 25th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Second phase - April 19 to May 2

• Inner lanes of Benjamin Franklin Parkway closed from Eakins Oval to 20th Street.

Third phase - April 24 to May 1

• Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed from 20th Street to the Art Museum.

• Martin Luther King Drive will remain open to 24th Street.

• Eastbound Spring Garden Street will remain open from 31st Street to 24th Street.

• Kelly Drive will be closed at Fairmount Avenue with traffic detoured onto Fairmount Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue.

• Traffic headed inbound from Spring Garden Street Bridge or Martin Luther King Drive must exit Eakins Oval on the 24th Street ramp.

• Traffic headed inbound on Kelly Drive must exit Kelly Drive at Fairmount Avenue.

Final phase - April 25 to May 1

Note: All these roads will accessible to local residents.

• 21st Street closed from Winter Street to Spring Garden Street
• 22nd Street closed from Race Street to Spring Garden Street
• 23rd Street closed from Fairmount Avenue to Benjamin Franklin Parkway
• 24th Street closed from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Park Towne Place
• Martin Luther King Drive closed at Sweet Briar Drive (Road will open during the morning rush hour on April 27 and 28 from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.)
• Kelly Drive closed from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Fairmount Avenue
• Spring Garden Street Bridge closed at 31st Street (Road will open during the morning rush hour on April 27 and 28 from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.)
• Spring Garden Street closed from 22nd Street to Benjamin Franklin Parkway
• Pennsylvania Avenue closed from Hamilton Street to Fairmount Avenue
• Pennsylvania Avenue/Callowhill Street closed from 20th Street to 21st Street
• Park Towne Place closed from 22nd Street to 24th Street
• I-676 westbound 22nd Street off-ramp closed

The following parking restrictions will also be enforced:

• Winter Street between 20th and 22nd Streets
• 21st Street between Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Race Street
• 22nd Street between Winter and Spring Garden Streets
• Park Towne Place between 22nd and 24th Streets
• 2400 Pennsylvania Avenue (south side angle parking only)
• Pennsylvania Avenue between 22nd Street & Fairmount Avenue (south side of street only)
• 20th Street between Vine & Callowhill Streets (east side of street only)

City officials said signs outlining bike lane and pedestrian detours will be posted along the area.

Meanwhile, museums and other institutions in the area are offering special deals to entice the public through the doors.

The Academy of Natural Sciences has waived admission fees during the draft. An $8 Super Saver Ticket will be sold for special exhibits, but anyone wearing an NFL jersey will save $1.

The Franklin Institute will offer $2 discounts on adult admission for anyone wearing NFL gear during the draft.

The Parkway Central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia invites NFL fans for free guided tours of the building.

The Barnes Foundation, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Art Museum and the Rodin Museum will operate as scheduled.