The NFL Draft kicked off Thursday night at the Auditorium Theatre after a warm welcome from the commercial real estate community.
The Aon Center, JLL’s corporate headquarters, used its stature as Chicago’s third-tallest tower to display the football league’s name in lights. Next door, Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower referenced Draft Town, a free festival for the fans in Grant Park featuring everything from “Selection Square” to a skills exhibition to team tents and Billy Goat double cheeseburgers.
The evening and those ahead are a coup for Chicago, which hasn’t hosted the big event since 1963, as is the Bears’ drafting of Kevin White, a wide receiver out of West Virginia. Fans are optimistic, heeding former Bears coach Mike Ditka’s advice. “Before you can win, you have to believe that you are worthy.”