Hundreds of thousands of people are expected in downtown Nashville during the NFL Draft weekend and the St. Jude’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon will take place in the middle of the party.
Saturday, April 27 will bring an additional 30,000 people to the streets for the marathon.
It’s the 20th year of the Nashville marathon, so organizers were already planning something big. But with the NFL Draft happening at the same time, the experience at Nissan Stadium will be elevated to the next level.
“Everybody is on board to make it just one big festival weekend and we are excited about it,” Keats McGonigal Senior Regional Director for the marathon told News 2.
He says they have known that the NFL Draft could collide with the marathon for years.
“For us the last weekend of April is when historically we’ve run the event. We are going to be here for years to come so for us we wanted to hold onto that.”
The NCVC, the NFL, and marathon organizers are now working together.
“They’ve got an amazing production team, we’ve got a great production team and now everybody is working together to make this happen, so I feel great about where we are at and what we are going to be able to deliver for all of the participants,” said McGonigal.
They still plan to deliver a similar running course, starting on 8th and Broadway.
“All of the runners will still get to experience that truly Broadway vibe of running down past the honky tonks as part of the race.”
They will, however, turn off of Broadway a little earlier than usual based on some security needs for the NFL. The biggest change, however, will be at the finish line.
Runners will still come in off of Woodland to Nissan Stadium, but once they are in the parking lot there will be multiple stages of entertainment.
“It’s going to be some A-list acts that are going to be coming through and it’s going to be a couple of different genres of music,” he said.
The NFL Experience will be providing an opportunity for music, sports and athletes all to convene in one space.
“We want to showcase Nashville, this is our marathon and we want to showcase it the best we can by cheering those people on, delivering a great experience. We see this as a great opportunity to have people come to town for the draft and then enjoy the experience while they are here, run with us,” said McGonigal.
If you are not a runner, they are still asking for people to come down and participate. They are looking for volunteers and spectators to cheer on the runners
The entertainment is free.