Distributors work around crowds, road closures to supply alcohol for the NFL Draft

NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is going to be life-changing for so many athletes and fans will be right there, packing Lower Broadway, to help celebrate.

Beer, wine, and spirits will go hand-in-hand with that celebration.

But with 100,000 visitors expected each day of the Draft, area businesses have been preparing well in advance.

For local beverage and alcohol distributor Lipman Brothers in North Nashville, the questions begin with how much to what to order.

“Looked at other cities, distributors in those other cities that hosted the NFL Draft,” said Lowell Goldman, CEO of Lipman Brothers. “We took a look at our top-selling items, specifically on Lower Broadway and downtown.”

Goldman said preparing to supply alcohol to vendors along downtown Nashville for the NFL Draft has been an around-the-clock operation.

“We started three to four months ago placing orders, looking at what we think a demand will be given the influx of people coming into the city,” said Goldman.

According to the company, that influx will be around 30-percent on top of what the company normally sells around this time of year.

Lipman’s North Nashville warehouse is 170,000 square feet, with about a third of it dedicated just for the NFL Draft – that’s about one million bottles of wine, beer, and spirits for revelers.

But to get that supply past crowds and road closures to Lower Broadway means a major change to Lipman’s operation.

“It’s going to be tricky,” said Goldman.

Starting on Thursday, all distributors will be required to make deliveries in the Draft footprint between 3 to 9 a.m.

“You name the vendors, they’re all trying to squeeze in downtown. It’s going to be a team effort where we’re all trying to get just in and out as quickly as possible,” said Goldman.

To prepare for the big job ahead, Lipman has hired employees specifically for the Draft to help at the warehouse and with deliveries.

What’s usually a two-person job to deliver downtown will multiply to 20.

“We’re going to have four trucks, four helpers, plus our merchandising team which will be four to six folks, plus a couple more for security,” he said.

With so many moving parts, Goldman said his team is ready for the challenge ahead and hopes the company and the brands they represent will leave their mark on visitors.

“Folks come and see a local beer they like and that leads to something beneficial for that brewery,” said Goldman.

If you do plan to drink, make sure you have a designated driver or take rideshare.

Companies like Lyft are offering discounts in and around downtown during the Draft weekend.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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