Businesses plan for crowds, road closures ahead of NFL Draft

NFL Draft

Things are starting to get extra busy on Broadway as the NFL Draft approaches.

Business owners in Downtown Nashville are being forced to adapt to large crowds and road closures as they prepare for the NFL Draft.

“Everyone has their estimates on 100 thousand people, 200 thousand people,” said Barrett Hobbs of Bootlegger’s Inn.

“I don’t think anyone knows so from an operational standpoint it really begins today: stockpiling beer, souvenirs, food whatever your property needs to have to fight the battle.”

The NFL Draft isn’t the only event forcing businesses to adapt.

“With the Music City Marathon and Jimmy Buffett and everything else going on, it’s different than anything else,” said Hobbs.

To work around the events and crowds, suppliers have adjusted some of their overnight routes to make sure businesses can get their products when they need them.

“Our partners know if we don’t have their product, we can’t sell it, so everyone is working together,” said Hobbs.

The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. estimates 100,000 people will attend each day of the NFL Draft.

For businesses, it takes time and careful planning to make sure they are ready to accommodate the more than one hundred thousand people expected downtown each day. Bootlegger’s Inn, which is situated close to the stage knows about the challenges of getting supplies in, but they say they were well prepared. ​

“Everyone knows that we have to get beer and liquor and food and things into the businesses and they are doing some adjustments to overnight deliveries that haven’t happened before,” said managing partner, Barrett Hobbs. “You know we have a lot of historic buildings that are small, storage is a premium so our partners know that if we don’t have their product we can’t sell it. So everyone is working together.”​

A big weekend also means businesses have to figure out how to draw in the crowds, especially with all the events that will be going on at the stage at the end of Broadway. ​

“The challenge is when there is something on the stage, how do we get the people to leave the stage and come into the bar and not just to use a free restroom,” said Hobbs. “Or if it is congested outside and we have people inside how do they go in and out. That was always a big challenge for new years eve. It is a good problem to have we are in a super location. Bootleggers Inn is in the shadow of the stage.”​

As far as expectations some say they are preparing for the largest crowds they have seen downtown.​

“Everyone has their estimates on 100 thousand people, 200 thousand people,” Hobbs said. “I don’t think anyone knows so from an operational standpoint it really begins today. stockpiling beer, souvenirs, food whatever your property needs to have to fight the battle.”​

While preparations have been going on for weeks, Bootlegger’s Inn says they are ready and waiting for the big week ahead. ​

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