The recent hiring of NFL all-around good guy Lovie Smith as head coach and a slew of early draft picks this year — including No. 3 overall — has created a much-needed buzz among often beleaguered Houston Texans fans.
To that end, the team is looking to the future, and few events generate the kind of excitement as the NFL Draft, which takes place at 7 pm Thursday, April 28 in Las Vegas. Texans fans who don’t make it to Sin City can celebrate at the massive, free, 2022 Draft Party the same day, which moves from NRG Stadium to Miller Outdoor Theatre (6000 Hermann Park Dr.) in Hermann Park.
Activities at a special Fan Zone kick off at 3 pm, giving attendees plenty of time before the draft starts at 7 pm. (Barring trades, the Texans should pick before 8 pm.)
Standout Draft Party fun includes, per the Texans:
- Live Zoom calls from head coach Smith and Texans draft picks.
- Special appearances by current Texans players.
- Numerous food and beverage options.
- A live DJ, giveaways, photo opportunities and Draft merchandise.
- A Fan Zone complete with activities for the whole family.
- NFL Network’s coverage of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft will be shown on the main stage. (Look for Gow Media/ESPN 95. FM star Lance Zierlein, a longtime NFL Network draft guru.)
Fans are encouraged to arrive early and spread out on the Miller Outdoor Theatre lawn. Limited seating is available for Season Ticket, Club and Texans LUXE Members, and Corporate Partners on a first come, first-served basis, the team notes.
Guests can also upgrade with a Red Zone seat, proceeds of the purchase benefit the Houston Texans Foundation.
Parking is free and available in parking lots at and around Hermann Park, though ridesharing and METRORail, which stops at Miller Outdoor Theatre, are encouraged.
Many current mock drafts have the Texans selecting an elite pass rusher or star LSU cornerback Derek Stingley, Jr. with the No. 3 pick — either would be a good fit for coach Smith’s defensive approach. In a season of reloading, the team boasts 11 draft picks, with five picks in the top 80 overall.
By the numbers, and with some sound selections and luck, it should make for quite the haul for the embattled team that went 4-13 in 2021.
“We’re so excited to bring the Draft Party back in a new way this year,” said Houston Texans president Greg Grissom in a statement. “Miller Outdoor Theatre is an iconic venue that will serve as the destination for Texans fans of all ages on the first night of the draft as we welcome new Texans to Houston together.”