Football fans across Texas and the country are really are proving that interest in attending the NFL Draft is higher than ever.
On Tuesday, the league announced a free ticket lottery for fans interested in attending the draft in person at AT&T Stadium.
As of Friday morning, more than 100,000 fans across the nation have signed up for the right to win tickets to the event in a lottery system. According to the NFL league office, that figure marks an 11 percent increase from last year's draft in Philadelphia over the same initial three-day time period.
That total is also the highest number of registrations over a three-day period in NFL Draft history.
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It wasn't surprising, that, according to the NFL, Texas was the state with the highest number of registrants (followed by Pennsylvania, California, New Jersey and Oklahoma).
The registration process will remain open until 10:59 p.m. March 14. Fans can register by visiting NFL.com/FanMobilePass for an opportunity to win free tickets for themselves and a guest for seating inside AT&T Stadium.
Fans selected for seated tickets will receive an email notifying them in late March. The draft will also encompass outdoor plazas, including the NFL Draft Experience outside the stadium that will span the size of 26 football fields.
After March 14, fans are still eligible to register for the NFL Draft Experience, as well as stand-by theater tickets.
Last November, Charlotte Jones Anderson, who serves as the executive vice president and chief branding officer, told the Star-Telegram that the organization had been working on bringing the spectacle to the DFW for years.
“For us, the question was: How could you combine the experiences of Radio City with what the other two cities have done?” Anderson said. “Basically we’re trying to scale Radio City… keeping the real authenticity of what the draft is supposed to be, but then you add it to the festival and have it all in one spot, and that’s what we’re doing here.”
The NFL is billing the draft as the "largest free football festival in league history" and its projected to exceed the record 250,000 fans who attended last year's draft in Philadelphia. The three-day event is also expected to have a significant economic impact on the DFW area.
NFL senior vice president of events Peter O’Reilly told the Star-Telegram that all of those factors opened up a world of possibilities.
“They’ve done so many unique events there, whether that’s concerts or movie premiers, or award shows, and we wanted to make sure the draft is different and stands out among all of those, and that was a great dialogue we had with Charlotte and the team throughout the process,” O’Reilly said. “I think what we envisioned here with them is different than those things.”