PALM BEACH, Fla. – The NFL Draft is coming to Detroit in 2024.
Detroit beat out Washington and Green Bay to host the event. The draft is the second biggest event behind the Super Bowl on the NFL's schedule, and the economic impact it can have on the city and the surrounding communities would be "significant," according to team president Rod Wood.
Principal owner and chair Sheila Hamp said the three-day event will be a great opportunity to put Detroit in the national spotlight.
"Very excited about showing off the city for a million reasons," Hamp said. "It's been a city that is sometimes overlooked or disparaged for certain reasons. But we all know better, those of us who are there. All the wonderful things that are happening there. So, we're very excited to show the world what we're all about."
The draft has steadily grown into a major event on the NFL calendar and is one of the most anticipated sports events of the year for the thousands of fans who attend, and millions more watching and engaging around the world.
"Once the draft started to move around and was so successful in other markets it became something that we really focused on," Wood said. "So happy that it's finally happened and hopefully we'll put on a good enough show that maybe they will consider us for a Super Bowl again."
Hamp said the team proved to the league Detroit would put on a world-class show, and really demonstrated what it would mean to the city and its football fans.
"Needless to say, this is a great day for us," Hamp said. "It represents a lot of hard work on the part of the Lions and the part of The Detroit Sports Commission and the Mayor. It really is terrifically exciting. I think it'll be huge for our wonderful city to showcase itself."
Wood said the plan is for festivities to take place all throughout the city.
Go behind the scenes with the Detroit Lions during 2022 free agency.
"Weather permitting, the draft will be outside at Campus Martius, that will be the draft stage," he said. "We'll be using a lot of the venues downtown, including the Fox Theatre will be part of it, Hart Plaza will be part of it. Hope to have some music events at Ford Field and maybe even Little Caesars (Arena). So, it'll be throughout the whole city."
There will also be fireworks over the Detroit River between Detroit and Canada.
The 2022 NFL Draft will take place in Las Vegas on April 28-30, followed by 2023 in Kansas City on April 27-29.
Wood expects Detroit's draft in 2024 to rival recent drafts with hundreds of thousands of people in Detroit celebrating all over the city. The economic impact of that for Detroit and its neighboring communities would be significant.
In addition, the Detroit Sports Commission, in partnership with the Detroit Lions, will host a free, festive football-themed community event for fans of all ages on Thursday, April 14 at Campus Martius Park to celebrate the awarding of the 2024 NFL Draft to Detroit.