How the city of Detroit is literally lighting up for the NFL Draft

Detroit sign along eastbound I-94 now lights up in the night as well as People Mover columns to help welcome guests into the city
The new LED colored lighting program will highlight the Detroit People Mover beams for the NFL Draft and beyond
Posted at 11:00 PM, Apr 16, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — In preparation of the NFL Draft, downtown Detroit is lighting up to welcome in guests and visitors with the large Detroit sign along I-94 and People Mover columns lighting up in the night.

As part of the ongoing beautification efforts of the city for the craft, the People Mover, the city and the Downtown Detroit Partnership put up new LED light installations on the columns of the People Mover.

The new LED colored lighting program will highlight the Detroit People Mover beams for the NFL Draft and beyond
The new LED colored lighting program will highlight the Detroit People Mover beams for the NFL Draft and beyond

These displays will be a permanent fixture with the hopes of improving visibility for pedestrians. The lights have the capability to shine themed colors — of course the first theme being the NFL Draft.

"These lights provide lighting around the columns, highlight the accent of the track and the Detroit People Mover and also provides an opportunity for us to provide custom lights for all the events," Detroit Transportation Corporation general manager Robert Cramer said.

Robert Cramer
Detroit Transportation Corporation general manager Robert Cramer. (April 16, 2024)

Other programmed light displays include lights for all the major sports teams in the city, surrounding universities and more.

“What’s going on downtown is just incredible," longtime Detroit resident Micheal Valentino said. "Because the city’s needed it for a long time.”

See what the lighting looks like on the new Detroit sign at night in the video player below:

Detroit signs gets lights so people can see it at night

Valentino says he's excited about the light shining on Detroit, literally and figuratively.

"All these people get to come here and see we’re not the city that you saw in RoboCop," he said. "We’re not the city that you saw 10 years ago, five years ago.”

Another new light addition is the large Detroit sign along I-94 between Central Street and Cecil Avenue. Partners at DTE lit the sign Monday night and it will continue to shine long past the draft. The lights are a nice addition to those who may not have been fans of the sign initially.

The Detroit sign along I-94 now lights up in the night
The Detroit sign along I-94 now lights up in the night

“Some pros and cons but at the end of the day it’s a boost of spirit for Detroit," Detroit resident Tim Smith said.

Five additional smaller Welcome to Detroit signs will be placed at the following locations:

  • SB M-39 at 8 Mile Road
  • NB M-39 at Ford Road
  • SB I-75 at 8 Mile Road
  • EB I-96 at Telegraph Road
  • WB I-94 at Moross Road

Watch our previous story of what some people had to say about the new Detroit sign below:

A hit or a big miss? Detroiters are still talking about the sign along I-94

The cost for the Detroit letters was $269,275 and the total cost for the five smaller Welcome to Detroit signs was $135,900.