NFL joins Detroit community leaders for breakfast to discuss the importance of working with local businesses

Posted at 5:45 PM, Mar 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-07 18:21:25-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Today the Senior Vice President of Global Event Productions for the NFL was in Detroit talking to local business leaders about the draft.

Anchor Mike Duffy was there and was also able to chat with one business owner deep in preparations for the event.

We’re less than 50 days out from the NFL Draft in Detroit. Today I’m learning how Detroiters and businesses are looking to harness all the attention the city will receive.

WXYZ Duffy asked, "Do you think Detroit’s ready for the event?"

“I think we are. I think we’ve made a lot of progress in terms of our economy. Also lodging, we have more hotels now, so I think we’re pretty ready for the draft,” and Tiara Brendel from Ferndale.

Tiara Brendel told me it is a chance to turn a corner.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to show what we’re able to do and accomplish, especially coming from so much negative,” said Brendel.

Detroiter Aaron Bryant said he is looking forward to the NFL Draft and to see who joins the Lions.

Mike Duffy asked, “Do you think it could be good long-term for the city?”

“Yeah, yeah. Most definitely. Hopefully, after that they give us the All-Star game. Finally! We’ve been waiting forever,” said Aaron Bryant.

Jon Barker, Senior Vice President of Global Event Production and Operations for the NFL, sat down Thursday with Detroit community leaders. He emphasized the importance of working with local businesses.

“Once we leave, we want others to come back. And we want the business community here to not only support leadership to bring major events here. We want the city to be in a place that when those major events do come here. They’re prepared to integrate very, very quickly and make sure opportunities for local business have been identified early on so people can prepare and get ready,” said Barker.

Nina Love is a hospitality expert who curates and caters events through her company, The Love Experience. She has already been doing events leading up to the draft and she knows how much will go into the actual event.

“It’s going to be interesting because of the logistics. Because we are literally going to be enclosed by hundreds of thousands of people down at Hart Plaza. But I just feel like it’s an opportunity to shine,” said Nina Love, Executive Chef, The Love Experience.

I asked her what it means that the NFL is partnering with local businesses.

“It means everything and it’s smart because that’s what you want to do if you come into a community, you should be intentional about supporting that community,” said Love.

As a member of the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance, she admits, Detroit is just different.

“I’ve lived in DC, I’m from New York, I’ve lived in Atlanta. And I’ve never seen anything like this ecosystem here. And so, I’m very, very proud to be a part of the Detroit small business ecosystem,” said Love.

Still, she knows eventually the draft will end.

“I’m going to also hope that it elevates us all and that other large events will come to town,” said Love.