DETROIT – The City of Detroit is on the clock.
Detroit Lions principal owner and chair Sheila Hamp, along with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, took part in a celebration to commemorate the 2024 NFL Draft coming to Detroit by unveiling a countdown clock in Campus Martius Park Thursday afternoon.
"In two years I'll be standing up here and I'll have a different card, but I wanted to read this card for the time being," Goodell said in front of the hundreds of people assembled in Campus Martius Park. "With the first pick in the 2024 draft, the NFL selects Detroit."
Detroit beat out Washington and Green Bay to host the draft in 2024, which is the biggest offseason event on the NFL's schedule. The economic impact the three-day event will have on the city and the surrounding communities could be worth as much as $200 million, Goodell said, on top of the media exposure it will bring the city.
Once the draft started to move around to different markets in 2015, it became a priority for Detroit to host.
"For the last few years we've been on a mission to secure the NFL Draft for the City of Detroit," Hamp said. "And making it happen has truly been a team effort. Our pitch to the league centered on our multi-generational fanbase and the dedication and love our fans have for the Lions, the NFL and the game of football."
Weather permitting, the draft will be held outside with the main stage at Campus Martius Park. The plan is to use a lot of the venues around downtown, including Fox Theatre and Hart Plaza, with music events being planned at Ford Field and possibly even Little Caesars Arena. There will also be fireworks over the Detroit River between Detroit and Canada.
Goodell said Nashville brought in as many as 600,000 people when they hosted the draft a couple years ago. He posed a challenge to Detroit to top that number in 2024.
The 2022 NFL Draft will take place in Las Vegas later this month, April 28-30, followed by 2023 in Kansas City, April 27-29.
"On behalf of the entire Lions organization, we are thrilled to be hosting the 2024 NFL Draft," Hamp said. "We are excited to show the football world the passion, partnership and progress that has always defined Detroit."