What it means for the city

The city of Detroit’s selection Monday as the host of the 2024 Football League draft will likely be the biggest, and most expected, sports event held in the city in more than a decade.

If other cities that have also hosted the draft are any indicator, the three-day event could bring hundreds of thousands of visitors — and their wallets — to downtown Detroit. Besides the draft, music events are planned for Ford Field and Little Caesars Arena and fireworks for the Detroit River.

City officials and civic leaders called the city’s selection “historic” and “momentous.”

“This is the best day in the history of my life,” said Claude Molinari, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, known as Visit Detroit. “Of course, I say that every day. But today might just be that.”

NFL prospects on stage prior to the first round of the NFL draft in downtown Nashville, April 25, 2019.

Molinari and a team including Detroit Lions President Rod Wood have been pursuing the NFL draft for the past five years. The league held its annual draft in New York for nearly 50 years, but began moving the event among its team cities in 2015, to cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas and Nashville.

“When a brand as iconic and as ever-present as the NFL puts their stamp of approval on you and says, ‘We’re going to hold one of our biggest marquee events in your city,’ I think that really speaks to just how much of a change Detroit has gone through,” Molinari said.

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