What we know about 2024 NFL draft in Detroit, Michigan

Detroit Free Press

The league’s annual showcase of incoming talent will take place April 25-27, 2024, centered around Campus Martius and Hart Plaza in the downtown area near the Detroit River.

“We look forward to showcasing the culture, energy, and passion of our vibrant downtown as a part of one of the NFL’s marquee annual events,” Lions president and CEO Rod Wood said in a statement.

The first round is Thursday, with Rounds 2-3 Friday and Rounds 4-7 Saturday.

Here’s what else you should know about the draft in Detroit:

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Why is it in Detroit?

The draft has been a traveling exhibition since 2015, after being located in New York for decades. The 2023 showcase is in Kansas City.

Detroit, led by its campaign Visit Detroit, reportedly beat out pitches from Green Bay and Washington in a vote by league owners.

“Our proposal … was very strong,” Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said last year after Detroit was announced as the 2024 site. “I think we really proved to the league that we would put on a great show and how important it is to our city, it’s hugely important, and to our fans. And I think those were some of the big selling points.”

Who will be there?

The NFL typically invites a few dozen top college prospects to the draft. They walk the red carpet before the first round, and come on stage when drafted by a team, hold their new team jersey and shake the hand of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in front of screaming fans.

Numerous NFL legends typically attend and announce picks on the second and third days.

Both ESPN and NFL Network personalities will be live on site, with sets to broadcast and react to the draft.

Will it be free to attend?

Yes, if we’re going off the 2023 draft, according to the NFL. You’ll likely have to register to attend just as they’re requiring in Kansas City. More details to come in the future.

NFL theme park

The NFL is bringing its interactive football theme park to the draft site, giving fans the opportunity to play games, view exhibits, gather autographs and take in musical performances. The Vince Lombardi Trophy, given to the Super Bowl winner, will be on hand — something fans of the Detroit Lions previously could only dream of since they’re the only NFC club never to even make a Super Bowl appearance — for pictures. Expect more announcements in the months ahead.

How many people will be there?

More than 300,000 fans showed up for the three-day 2022 NFL draft in Las Vegas, the league says.

So, a lot.

Showcase for the city

This will be an important chance for Detroit to show its continued improvement to the nation, and officials know this.

“Detroiters have shown many times our ability to put on highly successful national events and we will be ready again to welcome the world next April,” mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement. “Next year’s NFL Draft is going be an incredible opportunity for hundreds of thousands of visitors to see the progress our city is making.”

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