CLEVELAND, Ohio – Activities continued on day two of the NFL draft. The fans benefited from a lot less rain, a lot more sun and a lot of food on Friday. Here are seven things to know while driving downtown:
On the field
The field goal area at FirstEnergy Stadium is the most popular activity at the NFL Experience. It attracts all ages, and while the line is massive – around 200 people snake through an amusement park like a maze – it moves fast. By the way, 20 meters from a souped-up soccer ball to the goal post looks very close, but few people come close. (There’s also a “Hail Mary” activity where people can throw at one of three different net baskets, but anyone can throw a soccer ball: How many chances do you have of scoring a field goal at an NFL stadium if you leave : Parents can sit in open spaces behind the goal posts to watch their children kick.
About that bling
As we reported on Thursday, NFL chains are a popular seller. The circular emblems are made of foam on the front, magnetic on the back and lined up with a plastic chain. “Jerry Rice wore a year ago,” said one concessionaire, “and they blew up after that.” If you go: The bling comes in three sizes – small, $ 20; medium, $ 40; large, $ 65.
An NFL frame will be set up in a food and beverage area near the Draft Theater. On the street in front of the stadium, near the gates of the university clinics, helmets, banners and player figures are lined up. It’s a sea of selfies. And don’t forget the Jim Brown statue with an NFL draft banner in the background. When you go: charge your phones. Connectivity is decent, although there may be a delay in the NFL theater if you tune in to the team selection announcements tonight. And note: the selection starts at 7 p.m. and there are seven minutes between selections. Cleveland picks the 27th election in the second round (59th overall round) and numbers 89 and 91 in the third round tonight.
The garages cost between $ 7 and $ 35. The distance from Progressive Field to FirstEnergy Stadium is approximately 1.5 miles – if you want to avoid the congestion near the design activities near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Great Lakes Science Center. If you go: don’t be too eager to get that close to the stadium. Just try to find something near E. 9th Street and walk north until you see the lake.
Soccer versus baseball
There aren’t as many activities in the NFL Experience as there are at the downtown MLB All-Star Park during the Major League Baseball All-Star game in 2019. On the other hand, that took longer, had ziplining and multiple activities in and out of massive Cleveland Convention Center. On the other hand, much of the MLB event included an entry fee. The NFL Draft Experience is free. If you go: Interactive park tickets are free, but you must register through the NFL OnePass app.
Next to the Science Center is a strong minority and women-owned food stand with a diverse range of around a dozen restaurants: Loaded bagels from Cocky’s Bagels, sandwiches at the Ohio City BBQ, Spanish flavors from Mallorca, as well as Sauce the City of Cleveland, Twisted Taino and others . Vic Searcy of Sauce the City loved the experience and served a popular bowl of hot chicken corn. “It’s going great,” he said, “and it will be even better tomorrow.” Searcy drew in clients from all over the US, and interviews with national media wouldn’t have hurt either, he said. (No wonder, judging by the number plates in garages and jerseys worn by fans.) When you leave: Contactless payment only.
Carry your gear
If ever there was a time outside of a stadium to wear a jersey, it is the NFL Draft. Angela Tucture from Kent was there wearing an Aaron Rogers Green Bay Packers jersey. “My family was split right in the middle,” she said. When she was young she was told to choose between being a Cleveland fan or a Pittsburgh fan since part of her family is from Pennsylvania. She went the opposite way: “I said, ‘I’m going with the green. ‘”And she has a final opinion on the most debated topic of the day: the angry Aaron Rogers.” If Green Bay can’t get their heads out of their heads … they’re going to lose the best quarterback there is. “If you go: Saturday, the last day of the draft, is the most beautiful due to the weather. The forecast predicts a sunny high of 66 and a low of 39.
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I’m a member of the cleveland.com life and culture team, and I deal with food, beer, wine and sports-related topics. If you’d like to see my stories, a directory on cleveland.com is here. Bill Wills of WTAM-1100 and I usually talk about food and drink at 8:20 a.m. Thursday morning. And tune in to Beer with Bona and Much, Much More Wednesdays at 7:05 am with Munch Bishop at 1:50 pm The Gambler. Twitter: @ mbona30.
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