Neighbors prepare for NFL Draft impact to Philadelphia parking, business

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Setting the stage for the NFL Draft. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on April 3, 2017. (WPVI)

In hard hats, workers swarmed the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps Monday to work on an outdoor theater to house the upcoming NFL Draft.

The city says the event will generate nearly $7 million in state and local taxes.

But to get there will require a four-phase lane and street closing plan that starts weeks before the three-day event's April 27th kickoff.

READ: Road closures, parking restrictions announced for 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia

Some neighbors are dreading the parking restrictions on part of Pennsylvania Avenue that will start in just a couple days.

"Three full blocks of parking are going to be closed down on Wednesday for that period of time. The people who park in those spots, where are they going to park?" Fairmount resident Barbara Moore said.

Parking and road restrictions at Parkway events hold down visits to nearby museums. This time, The Academy of Natural Sciences has an idea: free General Admission during the draft.

"Hoping that people here for the draft will come with their families to visit our dinosaurs," Lisa Miller, COO of the Academy of Natural Sciences, said.

And if they come in NFL team gear, they will get a $1 discount to see the live frog exhibit.

In nearby Fairmount, there are mixed feelings about mega-Parkway events.

"People stop in. So for us it generally tends to be a better thing. It is an inconvenience as far as streets being closed off, the Parkway being closed off for the neighborhood," Luisa Magda of the Bishop's Collar Pub said.

Joe Nicholson loves his neighborhood. He thinks big events on the Parkway can be a good thing, but street closings pose an issue.

"I feel sometimes that too much of a good thing can be too much of good thing, so you have to get things in balance," Nicholson said.

Some in Fairmount think it might be time for City Hall to consider holding mega-events elsewhere in Philadelphia. One suggestion proposed the NFL Draft would have been a good fit for South Philadelphia near the stadiums with plenty of parking and a subway station. It was a sort-of share the wealth suggestion.

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