I’ll just leave that there. It’s not cheap to get a hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago any given weekend, but with the hype of the NFL Draft on full steam ahead, hotel and hospitality prices are adjusting to the trend.
Prices are inflated across the board, so if you’re planning on traveling to Chicago the weekend of the draft I suggest you break out your contact list before exploring hotel options.
I combed Expedia for hotel prices on the weekend of the NFL Draft. Price listed is the average price per room from 4/30 to 5/2.
Here’s where not to stay if you’re on a tight budget and just looking to explore the festivities.
The “I Think Vinny Chase Stays Here” Hotels
Trump International Tower
Possibly the most unnecessary building on the Chicago skyline, also serves as one of the city’s most expensive hotels. You’re paying for the name, plain and simple.
And for a whopping $504 a night you can stay 1.9 miles away from Auditorium Theater. But hey, at least you won’t look like a hard-ass when you tell your friends that you stayed at Trump International Hotel and Tower.
I mean, I don’t really need to dive into the reasons why you shouldn’t be staying at The Ritz-Carlton when attending the NFL Draft, right? That’s where the NFL people stay, not the people who watch the NFL.
But hey, if you’re really about that life just break out the credit card for $520 a night and you get to deal with a shut-down Michigan Avenue all weekend and still be 1.7 miles away from the draft itself.
The most expensive hotel of the weekend is also the one that I’ve never even associated with the city of Chicago. When I hear Four Seasons, I think Hawaii. I don’t think NFL Draft.
Just avoid it and use that $550 elsewhere.
Normal Folks Hotels
Hyatt Regency Chicago
For price and location, the Hyatt Regency Chicago is one of the best hotels in the city. It’s right on the mouth of Michigan Avenue and a baseball’s throw away from State Street shopping.
Here’s what the Hyatt Regency will cost you the weekend of the NFL Draft:
And here’s what it will cost you just one weekend later:
You’re looking at about $180 plus tax adjusted to accommodate people for the NFL Draft.
Forget that, I’d rather make some new friends on Lower Wacker than pay $219 to stay at the Hyatt. What about any one of Hyatt’s other like nine Chicago locations?
Hyatt Chicago Mag Mile: $339 per night.
Hyatt Place Chicago — River North: $229 per night.
Hyatt Regency McCormick Place: $199 per night.
Absurd. Hell, even the Red Roof Inn on Michigan Avenue—you know, that one hotel poor folks stay at just so they can say their hotel was on Michigan Avenue—will run you $146 a night.
$146 a night to stay at a Red Roof Inn?! That’s not a typo.
Club Quarters has two Chicago locations — Wacker at Michigan and Central Loop. I’ve stayed at the Wacker at Michigan location for a night before, and I think I paid like $49 as part of some awesome deal. That didn’t change the fact that the rooms are the size of closets.
You can pay $194 a night draft weekend to stay in a closet Harry Potter style if that’s something you might be interested in.
The Central Loop location is a bit cheaper coming in at $179 per night and is a good half-mile closer to Auditorium Theater than its sister location.
Go ahead and chalk up Club Quarters Central Loop as your best buy hotel for the weekend. Essentially, that’s like being the best choice of a giant grab bag of terrible choices.
So as you can see that while the NFL and the city of Chicago do what they can to make the NFL Draft as incredible of a weekend as possible for fans, the hospitality industry and its jackass way of pricing is going to end up ruining your weekend anyways.
My advice, find a friend to stay with or stay at a Holiday Inn in the suburbs and just take the Metra in every morning.
Thank me later.