CBS 3’s Joe Holden and KYW’s Hadas Kuznits both contributed to this story.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thanks to the upcoming NFL draft scheduled in Philadelphia later this month, tourists are being prevented from taking a Rocky victory run up the Art Museum steps leaving some a bit bummed.
“It’s the only thing we came here for,” Lisa Desrosiers, of Boston, said.
Those famous “Rocky” steps she’s referencing are knocked out for the next few weeks. Ronald Stoof, fresh in from Holland on holiday, also shared the disappointment.
“I can’t climb the steps,” Stoof said, “because of the American tradition of the draft.”
The NFL stage build out began Wednesday and will render the steps inaccessible through May 8th. Ajeenah Amir with the City of Philadelphia says the Rocky statue next to the steps will be blocked off from April 22nd until May 2nd.
“This build-out is definitely more extensive as in bigger, more structures, taking a bit more time than the structures for the Pope visit,” said Amir.
Amir says despite the construction “All of our cultural institutions on the Parkway, including the Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation and other institutions will be open and accessible.”
On the second pick leading up to the celebrations slated for the last week in April, well, it’s traffic.
“I think it’s going to take over the whole parkway, that’s what it looks like,” Blayney Stukes, of West Philadelphia, said.
He’s largely right.
Beginning at midnight April 5, no parking will be allowed on the 2400 block of Pennsylvania Avenue near the art museum. This impacts south side angle parking only.
Starting April 19, the inner lanes of the parkway will close. By April 25, all lanes of the parkway will be restricted. Add to that, 21st to 24th Streets in this area will shut down with limited access.
Eakins Oval will be off limits, as well as Martin Luther King Drive.
Third pick at this point: pedestrians.
“It just makes things a lot harder to move around,” John Politis said.
He and his wife, Rebecca Politis, along with their newborn baby Jeannette, expect to dodge the crowds.
“They’re always blocking off the roads, setting up bleachers,” John Politis said.
Sure there will be those inconveniences, but the silver lining will be the city again on the national stage and millions funneled into the local economy. Plus, it’ll be a pretty cool show
“Hey, it’s progress, right?” Elton Ogden, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, said. “It’s a big event that I’m sure is going to draw a nice crowd and plenty of publicity for the city.”
The draft runs from April 27-29.