Ford Field in Detroit.
When it comes to football in Detroit, there’s not a lot to cheer about.
But on Monday, the NFL announced some big news: Detroit will host the coveted 2024 draft.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called it “a huge win for Detroiters and football fans across the state of Michigan.”
“It will inject energy into our economy, benefitting countless small businesses and working families in Southeast Michigan,” Whitmer said in a statement Monday afternoon. “The NFL’s selection is a testament to the Motor City’s hustle and spirit, and I’m so proud that yet another major company has decided to make a historic investment in Michigan since Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist and I took office. I am grateful to all the local leaders, community organizations, and business owners who continue to get things done in Detroit. Together, we will continue landing marquee projects and events as we stay focused on growing our economy to help every working family, small business, and community thrive.”
The home of the Lions beat out Green Bay and Washington, D.C.
The news came several hours after the Lions announced it will be featured in the docuseries Hard Knocks
during the 2022 training camp.
The draft will shine a spotlight on the city’s revitalized downtown. The event will include an interactive football theme park in the area of Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza, where football fans can enjoy games, exhibits, musical performances, and autograph sessions. The Vince Lombardi Trophy also will be on hand.
"The draft has become a prominent offseason event across the country, and we are excited to work with the Lions and their partners to bring the 2024 NFL Draft to the Motor City," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "With the help of Visit Detroit, the Detroit Sports Commission, and the City of Detroit the Lions' passionate fan base and all visitors will be treated to an incredible three-day experience."
It’s the first time Detroit will host the draft.
"Today is a historic day for Detroit with the announcement that the 2024 NFL Draft is coming to the Motor City," Visit Detroit president and CEO Claude Molinari said in the statement. "Visit Detroit is looking forward to working with our partners in the hospitality community to welcome enthusiastic football fans from across the country who will make our city a pigskin pilgrimage stop. Hosting the draft is another exciting win for Detroit, and it will deliver a powerful economic impact and highlight the vibrancy of our region."
Las Vegas is hosting this year’s draft, and the event will be in Kansas City in 2023.
“This announcement is a win for Detroit and for Michigan,” Gilchrist said. “Governor Whitmer and I have worked hard to build a Detroit with opportunity and prosperity for everyone, and we are excited that the NFL has recognized Detroit’s strength as a center for tourism, culture, innovation, and athletics. We look forward to hosting the 2024 NFL draft and we will continue standing tall alongside Detroiters.”
In a letter to the NFL in March 2021, Whitmer said Detroit is ready for the “world’s stage.”
“Michiganders know that Detroit is one of the world’s greatest cities, and we relish the opportunity to let others in on what makes the Motor City so special,” Whitmer wrote. “The current momentum, energy and commitment there has made it a city ripe with possibility and burgeoning with unprecedented support. This is a chance for the NFL to have Detroit as a backdrop to celebrate the future of the League and its players. Detroit is just that: the future — of automation, design, and innovation.”
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