Nashvillians are both excited and nervous about the impending NFL Draft which will take over both sides of the Cumberland River downtown from Wednesday, April 24 until Saturday, April 27. An estimated crowd of 150,000+ football fans will descend on downtown to watch their favorite teams pick the next pro football stars from a pool of college talent, and the eyes of NFL Nation will certainly be turned to Music City. This is not to mention the possibility of a Nashville Predators Stanley Cup playoff game taking place in the nearby Bridgestone Arena at least one of those nights, a marathon running through downtown on Saturday morning and a Jimmy Buffett concert on Saturday night. So yeah, it might get a little crazy down there.
That’s why it’s critically important to have some sort of plan of attack on how you want to be a part of the hoopla. First of all, you can forget about driving around downtown. Most of the roads will be blocked off for the festivities and Uber and Lyft will blanket the streets with rideshare options. Your best plan of action would be to drive somewhere within ten blocks of downtown and park, take a rideshare or public transportation, and then just plan to do some walking. The wackiness of downtown and the draft is best experienced on foot anyway.
The major events will take place on a huge stage stretching along the river at the base of Broadway, across the Cumberland River at Nissan Stadium (easily accessible via the pedestrian bridge) and at the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall. Visitors will be able to walk between the venues in a relatively short time, and they’ll be rewarded with the chance to see current and former NFL stars, experience the NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos® Triple Zero at the campus around the Titans’ stadium and enjoy multiple free concerts throughout the days of the draft, including shows by headliners Tim McGraw and Dierks Bentley.
But what about just a place to hang out and enjoy a few drinks and some food while you wait for your team to make their next pick? While the draft is a really entertaining spectacle, it can be hours between individual picks for your specific team, especially during the earlier rounds, so you’ll want a dedicated space to have fun while you wait. Many of the downtown venues won’t be open to the general public because they have been bought out by teams or corporate groups, so you might want to be a little flexible about where you plan to meet up with friends.
Fortunately, the TC Restaurant Group has the fans in mind, and has committed to keeping at least part, if not all, of their venues open for locals and visitors to camp out and enjoy the crackling energy of draft weekend. TC has years of experience dealing with the crowds of downtown, in fact, they are the ones who recognized that it was a good idea to open a club called Crazy Town in homage of the festive teeming masses. Nashville isn’t the only city they operate in, with other properties under management in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, so they definitely know how to throw a party.
All of their venues will open early at 10:00 am during draft week to allow for an earlier…err…kickoff for your festivities, but remember it’s a four quarter game, so pace yourself. Each location will feature multiple bars, including rooftop and patio options to offer excellent vantage points of the draft activities. TC will make it a point to showcase multiple networks broadcasting the NFL Draft on televisions and giant video walls all over their clubs and restaurants, so you’ll never miss a pick. Since all of the venues have multiple stories, you’ll be able to watch sports on some floors, and live music from local rising stars performing on stages on other levels.
If you want the real NFL VIP experience, you can call 615-973-2426 or email VIP@TCrestGroup.com to sign up for unprecedented access that will help you navigate the draft like a baller! Perks include a VIP pass to skip the inevitable lines at the doors, private concierge service to help you maximize the time you spend partying, a private rooftop table and special dedicated areas near the music stages in TC Restaurant Group’s venues. Here are the specifics about which downtown locations will be participating and what you can expect at each restaurant/bar/club:
Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar
● 90+ big screen, HD TVs and a giant video wall
● “My Kinda Party,” the largest rooftop on Broadway, features downtown’s best views.
● Offers everything from steaks to Southern food with flare
Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink
● 60+ big screen, HD TVs and a giant video wall
● 6 levels, 8 bars and 4 stages + Luke’s Sushi Bar, located right on the rooftop
● Serves a plethora of food options from fresh sushi to signature dishes like the Hometown Pulled Pork, Black & Blue Salmon Salad, Nashville Hot Chicken and Luke’s Elk Burger with Red Dragon Cheese
● 70+ big screen, HD TVs and a giant video wall
● “Cruise,” one of Nashville’s largest rooftops, pairs live music with great views
● A special draft menu will feature gluten-free flatbreads, burgers, sandwiches, steak, fish, the bands’ favorite salads they eat when touring and an extensive drink menu, including the band’s Old Camp Whiskey.
● NOTE** - FGL House will have a buyout on their rooftop Thursday, April 25, but the rest of the venue will be open for downtown visitors.
● 60+ big screen, HD TVs
● 3 stories, 6 bars, 3 stages and 2 outdoor patios with panoramic views of downtown
● A special draft menu includes items from Nashville hot chicken sandwiches to gourmet Nashville melts.
Another TC property is Sun Diner, a rock and roll-themed retro restaurant tucked just around the corner from the draft’s ground zero on Lower Broad. While Sun Diner doesn’t have quite as much space or an expansive rooftop like their other massive venues, it does offer fantastic diner food 24 hours a day (or night,) so you’ll be able to refuel your party tank at any hour. If you’re looking for treatment like the first-round pick that you are, get in touch with TC and sign up for the VIP treatment for you and your friends!