In less than 150 days, Detroit will play host to the 2024 NFL Draft, promising an extravaganza of free football fun and an unparalleled spotlight on the city, drawing national and global media attention. The Detroit Sports Commission and Visit Detroit set the stage for this mega-event by inviting community partners and local stakeholders to Ford Field for a celebratory milestone announcement and an update on the event planning.
A coalition of influential stakeholders, including the City of Detroit, State of Michigan, the Detroit Lions, the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), Rocket Companies, and Wayne County, came together to reveal groundbreaking hospitality and community initiatives tied to the 2024 NFL Draft. These initiatives aim to deliver a first-class experience for visitors while leaving a lasting, positive impact on the Detroit community.
Organizing co-chair and Visit Detroit President and CEO Claude Molinari expressed the significance of the event, stating, “The 2024 NFL Draft will highlight all that makes Detroit and Southeast Michigan a great place to live, work, invest, and visit.” Molinari emphasized the commitment to partnering with local entities, including Detroit Metropolitan Airport, hotels, restaurants, and shops, to create a hospitality experience of the highest quality.
A notable aspect of the event announcement was the philanthropic dimension. The Detroit Sports Commission and Visit Detroit, with the support of generous local donors from civic, corporate, and philanthropic circles, disclosed a monumental $1 million living-legacy donation. This donation is earmarked to support youth literacy and active play in Detroit and its surrounding communities.
Following extensive research, discussions, and community input sessions to identify priorities, literacy nonprofit Beyond Basics and Project Play, an initiative of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, emerged as the inaugural nonprofit partners for the legacy initiative. Faye Nelson, director of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, commended the local community engagement committee and the selected nonprofit partners, expressing gratitude for their commitment to creating a lasting living legacy for youth in Detroit.
The living-legacy program, a first-of-its-kind initiative, will extend beyond the NFL Draft, continuing through the 2027 NCAA Men’s Final Four at Ford Field and beyond. Dave Beachnau, Executive Director of the Detroit Sports Commission, affirmed this commitment, stating, “The Detroit Sports Commission commits to including a community legacy component to all major sporting events coming to Detroit and ensuring that every event has a positive impact on our community.”
Local support has played a pivotal role in making the 2024 NFL Draft and the community engagement legacy initiative possible. Notable supporters include Visit Detroit, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Rocket Mortgage, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Flagstar Bank, General Motors, Huntington National Bank, Penske Corporation, PNC Bank, and The Skillman Foundation.
Bill Emerson, President of Rocket Companies, benefiting the draft as a unique opportunity to showcase Detroit’s transformation and revitalization, benefiting local businesses and residents. Emerson expressed excitement about working with local partners, government, and philanthropic entities to ensure the event is enjoyable for everyone.
A comprehensive “Detroit Experience” initiative, led by Visit Detroit and the City of Detroit in collaboration with local grassroots partners, will include a neighborhood engagement program featuring pre-Draft events at City of Detroit Parks & Recreation facilities. This initiative aims to bring the excitement of football to residents across the seven districts of the City of Detroit.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan conveyed his enthusiasm, stating, “We are so thrilled to connect the NFL Draft to our city center.” Duggan emphasized that the event will be fully integrated into downtown Detroit, with activities extending to neighborhoods. He anticipates a fun and memorable event that showcases the city’s progress.
The event underscored the city’s commitment to providing opportunities for residents and businesses across the seven districts to participate in and enjoy the 2024 NFL Draft. The City of Detroit’s Civil Rights, Inclusion & Opportunity Department, Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance (MDBBA), the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and other minority and ethnic business organizations are working diligently to prepare and certify local businesses for opportunities created by the NFL Draft and future major events.
Organizing co-chair and Founder of Moment Strategies, Alexis Wiley, affirmed the commitment to making the 2024 NFL Draft an exciting, inclusive, fun-filled experience. She emphasized that through the legacy commitment, the event’s impact will resonate in the region for years to come.
As a key local partner, Wayne County and the Wayne County Airport Authority are gearing up to create a one-of-a-kind football fan experience at the award-winning Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans expressed excitement, stating, “Wayne County is thrilled to host the 2024 NFL Draft,” and anticipates a significant economic impact for the community.
With hundreds of thousands of football fans expected to flood the streets of downtown Detroit from April 25-27, the event promises to be a spectacle. Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, expressed gratitude to the Lions organization and the NFL for their confidence in Detroit. He looks forward to welcoming visitors from around the world for the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza area will serve as the event site, offering a prime location for the NFL Draft festivities. As part of the three-day event, fans will have the opportunity to attend the NFL Draft Experience, the league’s free interactive football theme park.
Temporary paid positions supporting the NFL Draft Experience are available, with fans and residents encouraged to learn more about NFL Teammate opportunities and register for positions at visitdetroit.com/teammate-opportunity. Teammates play a crucial role in promoting a fun and inclusive environment for fan engagement throughout the NFL Draft footprint.
To stay updated and make the most of attending and participating in Draft events in Detroit, fans can visit visitdetroit.com/2024NFLDraft and download the NFL OnePass app.
In less than 150 days, Detroit is poised to take center stage, showcasing its vibrancy, resilience, and the spirit of community as it welcomes the world for the 2024 NFL Draft. The city’s preparation, commitment to inclusivity, and focus on leaving a lasting legacy underscore the significance of this upcoming sporting extravaganza.