Inside the building, a closed silvery-gray casket sat next to a photograph of the former Tennessee Titans star.
A line formed around the corner, and many mourners showed up wearing Titans jerseys and T-shirts to pay their respects to a man they say was a leader of the team.
Former teammate Derrick Lewis said McNair "put the Titans on the map."
Lewis, wearing a jersey, said he and his family were devastated when they learned of McNair's death. Police have said McNair, 36, was shot four times July 4 by his girlfriend, Sahel Kazemi, who then killed herself in a condo McNair shared with a friend.
"Myself and my family were completely shocked and some of us were crying because you almost feel like you are related," Lewis said.
Annetta Moore brought her grandson, Darrien James, 9, and granddaughter Olivia Cole, 11, to the funeral home and said she planned to take them to LP Field for another public memorial Thursday.
Moore said it wasn't uncommon to see McNair hanging out around town.
"I think he just blended right in with everybody," Moore said.
At LP Field, a video tribute to McNair is being shown, and fans can write messages in a book that later will be presented to McNair's family.
McNair's wife, close friends and ex-teammates are expected at a memorial service Thursday night at Mount Zion Baptist Church, which the family has attended since moving to Nashville in 1997.