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NFL Draft expected to bring major boom to Detroit in 2024

Posted at 6:46 AM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 06:46:48-04

(WXYZ) — Monday was a huge day for football fans in Detroit. First, it was announced the Detroit Lions would be featured on HBO's "Hard Knocks" which goes inside an NFL team's training camp. Then, the league announced the City of Detroit will host the 2024 NFL Draft, right in the heart of the downtown area.

This is the first time Detroit will host the draft, and the city has wanted to host it for as long as the league moved it from New York.

The draft is expected to bring life into the city with fans from around the country converging on Detroit for several days in April.

Fans will get to watch the draft on a big stage right in Campus Martius, with events spread out throughout the city.

"The fact that the National Football League chose Detroit – I think that speaks to the perception change of our city our region and our state,' Claude Molinari, the president & CEO of Visit Detroit, said.

For more than 50 years, the NFL Draft called New York City it's home. In 2015, the league decided it wanted a change of scenery, and the event jumped city to city. Now, it's finally landed in Detroit.

"Oh very excited to have the draft here, anything to get people downtown and have more people in the city is great," Detroit resident John Mcinnes said.

Leaders of the city's tourism industry say this is a gamechanger, both related to football and down the line for the City of Detroit.

"I think this is gonna be a time for us to really get back on the map for major events," Molinari said.

In a statement, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in part, "Holding the draft here will be a perfect opportunity for visitors to experience that energy, along with the world-class entertainment, cultural attractions and international riverfront our city has to offer."

The draft will span three days and showcase more than just the NFL's newest prospects. It will take place outside, which is good news for local businesses.

"Detroit is just gonna be full of people everywhere, I'm gonna love it," Checker Bar Head Chef Revell Crawford said.

A bustling downtown filled with locals, visitors and everyone in between will be an economic boom after a tough couple of years with the pandemic.

The announcement must be celebrated in true Detroit fashion. A kickoff party is happening in Campus Martius on April 14. It's free to the public and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be making an appearance.