NFL: Nearly 100,000 at start of NFL Draft experience

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NFL: Nearly 100,000 at start of NFL Draft experience. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 4pm on April 28, 2017. (WPVI)

The NFL has announced that nearly 100,000 people attended the first day of the NFL Draft Experience in Philadelphia.

The league said Friday it's the largest-ever attendance for the event.

"Philadelphia is on a roll. We are having a series of moments, as we should," said Julie Coker-Graham of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. "So we were very successful for the World Meeting of Families and the papal visit, and then we rolled right into the DNC, and here we are with yet another large blockbuster sporting event."

The NFL Draft Experience is a free three-day fan festival that spans the size of 25 football fields along the Ben Franklin Parkway.

"It is an amazing experience, and they couldn't have picked a better city to host this thing is because there is no better sports or football city in America than Philadelphia and we showed it last night," said Eric Emanuele of Frenchtown, N.J.

A big draw was a question and answer period with Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz.

"So far it has been fun. The weather is beautiful and we knocked off school and work to come out here and see what it is about," said Jim Fowler of Reading, Pa.

Another highlight was a 'Paint for the Future' area. The NFL teamed up with Mural Arts of Philadelphia to create 32 pieces of live art, in real time, to commemorate the NFL Draft in Philly.

"They will actually be assembled into a big mural installation of all 32 pieces, and after we close here at the NFL Draft Experience tomorrow, we are donating the pieces to the School District of Philadelphia," said Johanna Faries of the NFL.

No matter your team or age, there was enough fun to go around.

Many fans also stopped by the NFL store to purchase some must-have items from their favorite teams.

Many fans were already looking forward to Day 3.

"It is definitely good publicity for Philly, and the fact that it is running so smoothly, it speaks a lot about our community. So that is really good," said Megan Carullo.

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NFL: Nearly 100,000 at start of NFL Draft experience. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 12:30pm on April 28, 2017.

"You really want to come down and experience the footprint. You want to do the combine corner, you want to do the 40-yard dash, you want to go and see all the items in the museum, you want to spend time in the pro shop, and you just really want to enjoy the moment," Coker-Graham said.
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NFL Draft Experience delights crowds: Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at 5:30 a.m. on April 28.

The fans are ready!
"I think it is really cool for the city, and all the people should come down and see what is like down here," said Mason Sacks of Ridley Park.

The NFL Draft Experience is open 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, April 28 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 29.

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