Around this time last year I did a post here on BCC about traveling to the NFL Draft. I had just announced to friends and fellow fans that I was going back to NYC for the second year in a row. Almost immediately I was inundated with questions on the intricacies and details of making the journey north. As time went on I began to notice that a lot of folks from our group (Bold City Brigade) had begun purchasing plane tickets and making the necessary arrangements. All in all we ended up having around 50 Jaguars fans attend the draft last year together. An accomplishment that was and is nothing to sneeze at. BCB Draft Trip 2013
The 50 of us had a blast. We didn't know it then, but we kicked off what ended up being an unprecedented year for fan travel amongst Jaguars fans. In 2013 we organized close to 70 people in Seattle. Had dozens in places like Denver, Houston, St. Louis, and even London. We took over 100 die-hard fans to Tennessee and left with our squad's first win of the season. 2013 was special. I like to call it the Year of the Awakening. A sleeping giant has begun to organize. A network of unprecedented youth and support has taken flight.
As we move into 2014, the draft trip is happening once again. At last count we had close to 70 individuals already committed to going. Folks from California, Kentucky, and Utah among others have already purchased their airfare. I've been asked by no less than a dozen people to write another fan post on the intricacies of making ones way to NYC and attending the draft. So here goes.
Let me start by reiterating that making the draft trip can be as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be. The cost to attend the draft itself is free. Your major costs will be airfare and lodging. Airfare from Jacksonville direct to NYC area airports has been seen for as low as $178 roundtrip as recently as yesterday. Once in NYC you can eat like a king or survive off of $1 slices of pizza. You can drink scotch or drink beer. Your entertainment money is purely up to you and your budget. The following is a breakdown of important things to know or answers to questions that I get asked regularly.
1.) Airfare: Obviously this depends on where you are coming from, when you purchase, and when you would like to fly out. JetBlue and Delta both have very good rates right now out of Jax.
IF ATTENDING THE DRAFT YOU MUST ARRIVE IN NYC NO LATER THAN LUNCH TIME ON WEDNESDAY MAY 7TH. This is when you will need to get in line for your wristband. You cannot gain admittance into the first round on Thursday if you do not obtain your wristband on Wednesday.
I suggest taking one of the many shuttle services to and from the airport. A taxi can become expensive and public transportation (the cheapest option) can be tricky if you've never dealt with it. Good options include:
2.) Lodging: if you aren't one of the lucky individuals that knows someone that lives in the city and is willing to put up with your drunk behind stumbling in at 5am, don't fret. While hotels are ridiculously expensive in NYC, it can be done for folks on a budget.
If you will be rolling with us, we recommend that you stay in Manhattan. We do not provide a block of rooms because everyone is on a different budget. You can stay in one of the other boroughs and it will more than likely be cheaper, but from experience, there's nothing like the accessibility that staying in Manhattan provides. All group activities will be taking place within walking distance of Radio City Music Hall. Having to hop onto the subway late at night to get back to Queens or Brooklyn can be rough. Especially for those that may be drinking or that are unfamiliar with NYC. We have had a lot of folks that share rooms. At the time that I am writing this you can find decent hotel rooms in Manhattan for around $200 per night. If you split that 3 or 4 ways it becomes much much more economical. Let's be real, you aren't going to NYC to spend time in your room anyway. At the bottom of this post you will find a link to the official Facebook Event Page. If you're interested in sharing a room with a fellow fan, feel free to post to the wall on that page.
3) Admission to the draft: Admission to the draft always seems to be a big mystery. The first question most people ask me is; "How do I get tickets to the draft?". There are no tickets for sale. You cannot go on Stub Hub and snag a pair. Aside from a VIP ticket package that can be purchased (Includes hotel etc) for close to $70 million, admission to the draft is free and first come first served. The one caveat is that you must get in line on Weds afternoon to obtain your wristband. That wristband gives you the right to get in line the next day (Day of round 1). Once in line on the day of (w/ your wristband on) you will wait until they open the doors. At which time your wristband will be checked and you will be assigned your seat inside Radio City Music Hall. We do our best to make sure everyone in our large contingent sits together. If you would like to attend rounds 2-3 the next day, they hand out the wristbands upon completion and exit of RCMH after round one.
4.) BCB Meet-ups and Gatherings: The BCB Pre-Draft Party will take place again on the Wednesday night before the draft. Details have not yet been confirmed, but there's a fair chance that it will gain take place at Legends Bar NYC
We will also have rendezvous points set up for Wednesday May 7th before we get in line for the wristbands as well as Thursday May 8th when we will all meet up and walk/march to RCMH to get in line for round one. It's important that if you want to sit with our large group, you must meet up with us the day of the draft and get in line with us. Once in line, there is no skipping or cutting in for members of groups that may be late or lost.
The prevailing idea that I want to relay to everyone is that the draft trip is very doable. If sharing the cost of a room with at least one other person you should be able to do the whole trip for $600-$700 (Out of Jacksonville, obviously adjust cost to your locale). We at BCB will have the logistics and the party on lock. Just come be a part of something cool and enjoy yourself.