Anyone who makes a trip to Philadelphia on a sight-seeing trip is bound to do a few things; eat a cheesesteak, visit the Liberty Bell and run up the steps of the art museum like Rocky Balboa. Starting Thursday night, NFL Draft picks will get to check off the Rocky steps on their to-do list, although with a twist.
The NFL’s Draft Theater has been setup on the steps of the art museum, with the steps playing a central role in the setup. The iconic steps are featured directly behind the podium where the picks will be announced. After hearing their name called, players in the green room will actually walk down the steps on their way to meeting and posing with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Walking down the steps doesn’t exactly have the same joyful feeling as running up the steps does, but it was nice of the NFL to take the steps into consideration in the setup.
“When we came here, that was it. We knew this was the spot, because of the symbolism of the Rocky steps, what they represent. We wanted them showcased,” Eric Finkelstein of the NFL said in an interview with WPVI in Philadelphia.
Construction of the outdoor theater setup closed off the tourist attraction to visitors for the past few weeks and will keep it blocked off from the public for a little longer while the stage gets torn down. That’s unfortunate for those from the city and beyond who make it a point to run up the Rocky steps, but the top landing of the museum steps is still accessible to tourists looking to mimic Rocky Balboa, and the statue of Rocky is still there for photo ops at the bottom of the steps.
Yes, Philadelphia has a statue of Rocky Balboa. And now it’s montage time.