Philly’s NFL Draft crowd could be bigger than Pope Francis or Hillary Clinton

A record number of people have signed up.

Pope Eagles
Twitter via Rich Negrin/Wikimedia Commons

Sorry Pope Francis and Hillary Clinton, the NFL Draft’s party on the Parkway is generating more interest than your Philly events.

The league announced today that 156,000 people had signed up to attend the NFL Draft Experience in the 16 days registration was allowed. That’s a record high number of sign-ups, and the NFL Draft is still over a month away. For comparison’s sake, according to the NFL, Chicago had just 48,000 people sign up for its NFL Draft Experience in the same timeframe last year.

But beating out Chicago is hardly as impressive as another feat: The NFL Draft could be more popular than the pope’s Sunday mass.

Attendance at Pope Francis’ mass on the Parkway was originally estimated at about 800,000 people, but crowd experts put it at no more than 142,000. The Democratic National Convention was closed to the public, and Clinton was not given a larger venue for her nomination acceptance speech, as Barack Obama was in 2008.

In fairness, the pope’s mass lasted just a couple of hours on a Sunday morning. This NFL event will take place over three days. Nobody kept attendance for the pope’s other Parkway event, the Festival of Families concert, but 10,000 tickets were allocated to the public.

The NFL Draft Experience is the part of the draft you can actually attend. While tickets are limited and difficult to get for the actual draft, anybody can go to the NFL Draft Experience. It takes place throughout the three days of the draft, April 27-29, and is free to attend.

The Parkway is already getting ready for the event, apparently. The Office of Emergency Management tweeted this photo of port-a-potties being set up today.


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