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April 30, 2017

Philly sets NFL draft attendance record with 250,000 visitors

A record number of football fans descended upon Philadelphia this week for the NFL's first draft to be held at an outside venue.

On Saturday, league officials announced 250,000 people attended the 2017 NFL Draft along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Center City. The attendance figure was good enough to break the league record.

Television coverage of the event captured a raucous crowd sharing various levels of approval (or lack there of) for draft selections throughout the three-day proceedings. Holding the draft outside allowed the league to set up a fan festival that covered most blocks between Logan Square and the Museum's steps. The attraction featured amenities for fans of all ages, including a bevy of food options and bars, memorabilia exhibits, autograph tents, and contests to test fans' skills and knowledge of the game.

The event's success has already led to speculation that Philly could host next year's event too. The 2015 and 2016 drafts were both held in Chicago after five decades in New York.

Although the draft is over, Philly residents will still feel the effects for another week as the venue is deconstructed. Road closures and parking restrictions in the area will last through May 7, city officials said.