VIDEO: Dan Gilbert on bringing the draft to Detroit & what it means for the city

Posted at 10:50 AM, Apr 27, 2024

Dan Gilbert played a pivotal role in bringing the NFL Draft to Downtown Detroit.

I sat down with Gilbert on Thursday of the NFL Draft to talk all about his thoughts on the event and how great it is for Detroit to host it.

Watch my interview with Gilbert below

Dan Gilbert speaks on work to bring NFL Draft to Detroit

"This NFL Draft has been two years in the making. It's finally here. When you look out and think about all of the work, is it everything you hoped for?" I asked.

"I think the draft is a way that, I mean, people come from 32 different cities here and they're going to go back and talk to their friends and relatives. Hopefully they go back and tell them how good it is and they come and visit us. So many people worked on this, the city, the Detroit Lions, local community groups, so it's great to see everybody come together to do this."

Gilbert had a lot to do with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell coming to the city. How did he get him to come here?

He said he's known Goodell for about 10 years, and when they were talking about the city, he lobbied Goodell to bring the draft here.

"A lot of people are calling you, but I'm calling you," Gilbert said. "He cares about Detroit and he likes the urban core. The previous draft has been outlines, and he really liked the idea of having it in the city, and I think they're right and they're going to be happy with this."

This month, a new sports bar also opened on Woodward Ave. called Gilly's Clubhouse, named in honor of Gilbert's late son, Nick. He died last May at the age of 26 after a lifelong battle with neurofibromatosis.

"This was his vision to have a big sports bar downtown. We got it open finally, it took us a year after he passed to get it done, but we got it done. It's the legacy to him, and I think every time I'm in there, I feel him," Gilbert said.