Detroit Regional Chamber > Detroit Policy Conference > Detroit’s First Word: 2024 NFL Draft to Change the Perception of Detroit

Detroit’s First Word: 2024 NFL Draft to Change the Perception of Detroit

January 12, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • The 2024 NFL Draft on April 25-27 will be free and open to the public with engaging, fun activities for the whole community.
  • The Draft will generate a significant amount of revenue for the City of Detroit and benefit the community personally—especially with the new “living legacy program” that will focus on education and play in Detroit communities.
  • With hundreds of thousands of individuals traveling to Detroit for the Draft and many more watching the event virtually, all eyes will be on Detroit—highlighting the city’s beauty and transforming outsider perceptions.

View the session recording below.

During Detroit’s First Word at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2024 Detroit Policy Conference, panelists Faye Alexander Nelson, Former Michigan Director at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Claude Molinari, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, sat down with moderator Alexis Wiley, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Moment Strategies, to discuss the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft on April 25-27, 2024, and its lasting impact on the City of Detroit. 

The narrative around Detroit is “changing at an enormous rate,” according to Molinari. Individuals from across the country are tuning in to the city’s message and the efforts to bring large events here. 

What can Michiganders expect from the Draft and its impact on Detroit? 

“The Super Bowl will have about 80,000 people. [The Draft] will have hundreds of thousands of people,” Molinari said. “The economic impact is going to be in the hundreds of millions.” 

In addition to the economic revenue that will be generated, the 2024 NFL Draft will provide “tremendous value” and benefit the community on a personal level. Thanks to the generosity of the Detroit Sports Commission and Visit Detroit, $1 million has been allocated to a “living legacy program” that will focus on education and play in Detroit’s communities—with a round of grants being distributed during the NFL Draft week to organizations that focus on youth sports. 

“At the end of the day, it’s not just [going] to be in one footprint…to be able to expand, spread, involve, and engage all of our residents in this fantastic event,” said Alexander Nelson. 

The conversation ended with the question, “What does Detroit need to continue to do to position itself as a destination for national and international events?” Molinari cited a need for continued funding and special events legislation, and Alexander Nelson emphasized thinking beyond the economic impact and focusing on the value proposition of large events. 

“Think about the value being added,” Alexander Nelson said. “Being able to tell the greatness of our City of Detroit…We’re on a roll between Michigan, the Lions, and now the NFL Draft. I mean, you can’t stop us.” 

Chamber members are invited to Visit Detroit’s Annual Partnership Meeting on Jan. 17 to hear more about the Draft’s significance from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other local speakers. Learn more. 

This session was sponsored by The Kresge Foundation