City Officials Eager To Change Perception Of Detroit With 2024 NFL Draft

Written By Drew Ellis on March 21, 2024
Image of the main stage for the 2024 NFL Draft being held in Detroit in April

The city of Detroit will soon be on one of the biggest national stages for a sporting event. At the end of April, the Motor City will play host to the 2024 NFL Draft.

The three-day sporting event will be held April 25-27 and will take over the city of Detroit.

The main stage at Campus Maritus Park is within walking distance of Detroit’s three casinos:

Map of NFL Draft and Detroit casino locations

Visit Detroit: “We want to show people what a remarkable city this is”

Planning for the 2024 NFL Draft has been going on for seven years. City officials see this event as an opportunity to change the perception of Detroit to a national audience while showcasing that the city can play host to major sporting events in the future.

“It is about changing perception,” Chris Moyer, Senior Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Visit Detroit, told PlayMichigan.

“We want to show people what a remarkable city this is. This is the home of five genres of music, American innovation, incredible culture, incredible small businesses, and people that really want to welcome the world to Detroit.

“The perception for too many people lingers in the 1980s or 1990s. It’s time for people to update how they see Detroit. Hosting an event like the NFL Draft, where hundreds of thousands of people are going to come to the city, and tens of millions of people will be watching on TV, is a catalyst to rapidly accelerate that change in perception.”

Aside from the event itself, the city and the NFL are set to put on a wide variety of events and entertainment options throughout the week of the NFL Draft.

Detroit officials preparing for NFL Draft since 2017

A map of the city of Detroit showing where 2024 NFL Draft events will be taking place

The 2024 NFL Draft was awarded to Detroit on March 28, 2022. However, Visit Detroit and the Detroit Sports Commission had spent five years prior to that putting together the bid to present to the NFL.

“It was such a validation of the work that had been done for years by a lot of people that care about this city,” Moyer said. “It absolutely provided such excitement for our team. Detroit is going to be the epicenter of the NFL world for many weeks.”

Since receiving the bid in 2022, active planning has continued over the last two years. It has been accelerated following the conclusion of the 2023-24 NFL season, as the NFL has now gotten more hands-on with getting the city prepared.

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place in downtown Detroit at Campus Maritus Park and Hart Plaza.

NFL Draft have 9-figure financial impact on Detroit

Nighttime Image of downtown Detroit and the crowds expected for the 2024 NFL Draft.

The NFL Draft is set to bring in football fans from around the country, and even the world, into Detroit.

Last year’s event in Kansas City had 312,000 visitors come into the city for the three-day event.

Moyer anticipates an even larger audience in Detroit due to its accessibility for all major NFL fanbases.

“There are six NFL markets that are less than a five hour drive from Detroit. Passionate rabid fans from Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Chicago. Then we have one of the best airports in all of North American in DTW, with direct flights to all other 31 NFL markets,” Moyer said.

Last year’s NFL Draft in Kansas City had an economic impact of $164.3 million for the city. Moyer and Detroit officials also expect a significant increase from that total to have an impact on the city.

On top of the financial impact, Moyer believes a successful week can lead to other major events coming to the city.

Detroit will play host to the 2027 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.

“If you can host the NFL Draft, there isn’t an event in the world that you can’t host. Just due to the logistical complexity of the NFL Draft is one thing, because of the multi-day nature of it and because of the sheer number of people that attend it,” Moyer said. “This is something that requires the highest degree of care and organizational planning. Only handful of cities in the United States are really capable of hosting something like this.”

Schedule of events for 2024 NFL Draft

The NFL Draft itself will take place over three days.

The first round is on Thursday, April 25 while the second and third rounds take place on Friday, April 26. Saturday, April 27 will see the final four rounds take place.

During the draft and during draft week, Detroit and the NFL will be putting on a wide variety of events for football fans and families.

On The Clock Tour

To help NFL fans in Michigan prep for the draft, the “On The Clock Tour” is making its way around Detroit leading up to the event. The tour began on Jan. 13 and has four events remaining.

The events are free and include food trucks, arcade games, arts and crafts, interactive inflatables and football skill stations.

Remaining “On the Clock Tour” events include

  • March 23: Warren Community Center (10 a.m.1 p.m.)
  • March 30: Crowell Recreation Center (1-5 p.m.)
  • April 6: Romulus Athletic Center (1-5 p.m.)
  • April 13: Lasky Recreation Center (1-5 p.m.)

NFL Draft Experience

Alongside the days of the NFL Draft, fans can take part in the NFL Draft Experience.

The NFL Draft Experience will be held April 25-27 and features NFL exhibits, autograph sessions, interactive games, football clinics, and photo opportunities with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Part of the exhibits will include the Hall of Fame bronze sculptures of former Detroit Lions Barry Sanders, Lem Barney, Calvin Johnson and Alex Karras.

Detroit’s culture will be featured at the NFL Draft Experience with local food and beverage vendors that will include soul food, Greek, Mexican, Middle Eastern and East African cuisine.

All NFL Draft Experience events will take place at Hart Plaza. Hours are noon-10 p.m. on April 25 and April 26. For April 27, hours will be 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Corner Ballpark youth activities

Corner Ballpark will be the hub for all youth activities during the NFL Draft, including the NFL Play 60 Zone.

As part of the NFL Play 60 Zone, kids can participate in the field goal challenge and play on created field in the park.

Kids will also have the opportunity to try on NFL equipment to feel like a real pro football player.

It will be open from 3-10 p.m. on April 25 and April 26, then 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on April 27.

Guinness World Record attempt at “The Hustle”

On Saturday, a Guinness World Record will be attempted at Campus Maritus Park.

Organizers will attempt to rally enough fans to set the record for most people participating in “The Hustle.”

Draft week concerts in Detroit

On Wednesday, April 24, the night before the NFL Draft, country musician Jelly Roll will be performing at the Fillmore.

Free concerts will be hosted prior to the start of the NFL Draft on both Thursday and Friday. There will also be a free concert on Saturday following the conclusion of the draft. The NFL Draft Theater stage is the site for all concerts.

The NFL Draft Concert Series participants have yet to be announced for Detroit. Last year’s event in Kansas City included performances from Fall Out Boy, Motley Crue and Thundercat.

For updates on events during draft week, visit or the NFL Draft event information page.

NFL Draft Shop

The NFL Draft Shop will be located at 1001 Woodward Avenue in Detroit. The store will open on April 20 and be open until April 27. It will feature exclusive gear for all NFL teams and for the NFL Draft.

Hours of operation for the shop are:

  • April 20: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • April 21: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • April 22: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • April 23: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • April 24: Closed
  • April 25: Noon-10 p.m.
  • April 26: Noon-10 p.m.
  • April 27: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

NFL OnePass

In order to participate in many of the events in Detroit during the NFL Draft, you will need to download NFL OnePass.

NFL OnePass is a free app to put on your mobile device. Fans that download and register for NFL OnePass will be entered for a chance to win a pair of tickets to Super Bowl LIX in New Orleans next season.

Photo by Visit Detroit
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is currently the Lead Writer of He was the former Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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