Commissioner Roger Goodell talks up Detroit 99 days before NFL Draft comes to town

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jan 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-17 18:45:20-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Believe it or not, we are just 99 days away from the NFL Draft in Detroit. Today, Visit Detroit held a fireside chat with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in the lead-up to the big day, and I was there.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sat down with network sports host Mike Tirico and spoke to Detroiters directly.

“What you have done in this community is amazing. I have been coming here for decades. You see what you’ve done physically in the downtown area. But it’s really as much about the way you’ve come together in the public and the private sector. And you’ve rallied around this community,” said Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner.

Goodell estimates the draft will reach 60 to 70 million people.

“I think people and the world should see it, and you’re going to have that opportunity. If everyone sees what Detroit really is, and the passion of the people in this community, that will be a successful draft,” said Goodell.

He explained how Detroit landed it.

“I think it was really this can-do spirit. I give a lot of credit to the Detroit Lions…They believed this community should be on this stage and they pursued it very aggressively,” Goodell added.

“It’s a great day in Detroit and we are so excited to be the host station for the NFL Draft on ABC. What a great opportunity, Mike, to tell the Detroit story, to showcase our community, our people and it’s really just a great time to be a Detroiter,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ Vice President and General Manager.

“It’s a great time for the city overall. There’s a lot of stuff happening, I think the light’s going to shine on us and what we need. What we need is national exposure,” said Detroiter Anthony Shipman.

I also got a chance to talk to Mike Tirico one-on-one.

WXYZ’s Mike Duffy asked, “What does it mean that this is happening in Detroit?”

“Wow, it means a lot,” said Mike Tirico, Network sports host. “And for people to see downtown Detroit and not just Ford Field, but to see the city, see Campus Martius, see the Spirit of Detroit and all those things, and to see the city in its best possible light, that’s going to mean a ton.”

He says as a Michigander, he couldn’t be happier for Lions fans.

“To know what they’ve endured, to know how loyal they’ve been, to see so many of those faces from the booth on Sunday night, and to see them come back here next week, come back for the draft, it’s heartwarming. It’s the power of sports.”