Detroit Sports Commission, Visit Detroit Mark 150 Days Until 2024 NFL Draft

$1M living legacy donation announced to support youth literacy and active play throughout Detroit

DETROIT, Nov. 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In 150 days, the 2024 NFL Draft Presented by Bud Light will bring free football fun for all and unprecedented national and global media attention to the city of Detroit. Today, the Detroit Sports Commission and Visit Detroit invited community partners and local stakeholders to Ford Field to celebrate the milestone and provide an update on event planning.

The Detroit Sports Commission and Visit Detroit were joined by a coalition of key stakeholders including the City of Detroit, State of Michigan, the Detroit Lions, the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), Rocket Companies and Wayne County to announce new hospitality and community initiatives around the 2024 NFL Draft aimed to offer a first-class experience for visitors and leave a lasting, positive impact on the Detroit community.

“The 2024 NFL Draft will highlight all that makes Detroit and Southeast Michigan a great place to live, work, invest, and visit,” said organizing co-chair and Visit Detroit President and CEO Claude Molinari. “Visit Detroit is proud to partner with Detroit Metropolitan Airport, local hotels, restaurants, and shops to create a best-in-class hospitality experience for visitors from touchdown to takeoff.”

The Detroit Sports Commission and Visit Detroit, with the support of generous local donors from the civic, corporate, and philanthropic community, announced a $1 million living-legacy donation to support youth literacy and active play in the city of Detroit and its surrounding communities.

After significant research, discussion, and listening sessions to identify community priorities, literacy non-profit Beyond Basics and Project Play, an initiative of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, were selected as the legacy initiative’s inaugural non-profit partners by a committee of community leaders from local education, non-profit, foundation and youth sports organizations.

“Thank you to the commitment of the local community engagement committee and to our local youth literacy and active play non-profit partners Beyond Basics and Project Play,” said Faye Nelson, director of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “We salute those who have generously donated and provided their commitment to help create a lasting living legacy for youth in the seven districts of the city of Detroit and the Detroit region.”

A first-of-its-kind initiative, the living legacy program will be carried forward by the Detroit Sports Commission past the Draft, through the 2027 NCAA Men’s Final Four at Ford Field, and beyond.

“This unprecedented legacy program will allow us to build on the momentum from the 2024 Draft and continue to support important causes that impact Detroit youth,” said Detroit Sports Commission Executive Director Dave Beachnau. “The Detroit Sports Commission commits to including a community legacy component to all major sporting events coming to Detroit and ensuring that every event has a positive impact on our community.”

The 2024 NFL Draft and the community engagement legacy initiative is made possible through the generous support of the local civic, corporate, and philanthropic community. Supporters include Visit Detroit, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Rocket Mortgage, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Flagstar Bank, General Motors, Huntington National Bank, Penske Corporation, PNC Bank, and The Skillman Foundation.

“The draft is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to showcase the amazing transformation and revitalization that has taken place in Detroit, while also significantly benefitting local businesses and residents,” said Bill Emerson, President of Rocket Companies. "We look forward to showcasing both the amazing people and businesses in our community while continuing to work hand-in-hand with them, local government and philanthropic partners to ensure this is an event that everyone can enjoy.”

A comprehensive “Detroit Experience” initiative led by Visit Detroit and the City of Detroit, in conjunction with local grass-roots partners, will include a neighborhood engagement program featuring pre-Draft events to be held at City of Detroit Parks & Recreation facilities that will bring the fun and excitement of football to residents across the seven districts of the City of Detroit.

"We are so thrilled to connect the NFL Draft to our city center,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Detroit’s NFL Draft is going to be fully integrated into our downtown and have activities in our neighborhoods. It certainly will be a fun and memorable event for thousands of football fans that will showcase the great progress our city has been making."

The event also emphasized the city’s commitment to providing opportunities for residents and business owners across the seven districts of Detroit to participate in and enjoy the 2024 NFL Draft. The City of Detroit’s Civil Rights, Inclusion & Opportunity Department, Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance (MDBBA), the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and other minority and ethnic business organizations are working hard to prepare and certify local businesses so that they’re prepared for opportunities created by the NFL Draft and future major events.

“Our local coalition of stakeholders and partners are working hard to ensure that whether you live in Detroit or are visiting Detroit, the 2024 NFL Draft is an exciting, inclusive, fun-filled experience,” said organizing co-chair and Founder of Moment Strategies Alexis Wiley. “Through our legacy commitment, the 2024 NFL Draft’s impact will be felt in our region for years to come.”

As a key local partner of the planning and hosting effort for the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit, Wayne County and the Wayne County Airport Authority will create a one-of-a-kind football fan experience to welcome travelers to the award-winning Detroit Metropolitan Airport for the 2024 NFL Draft.

“Wayne County is thrilled to host the 2024 NFL Draft. From our world-class airport, hotels, and restaurants, we can’t wait to spotlight Detroit with visitors from all over the nation,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “The NFL Draft’s impact as one of the biggest sports events of the year will be felt across the county and have a significant economic impact for our community.”

Hundreds of thousands of football fans from NFL markets across the country are expected to descend upon the streets of downtown Detroit April 25-27 to take in the energy and pageantry of the NFL Draft.

"We're thrilled that in less than 150 days, all eyes will be on Detroit," said Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We are grateful to Shelia Ford Hamp and the entire Lions organization and NFL for this vote of confidence in Detroit and are excited to join our partners across Michigan in welcoming the world to Detroit for the 2024 NFL Draft.”

The area around the award-winning Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza will serve as the event site for the NFL Draft, which has become one of the most anticipated sports events of the year. As part of the three-day event in Detroit, fans will be able to attend the NFL Draft Experience – the league's free interactive football theme park.

Temporary paid positions supporting the NFL Draft Experience are available. Fans and residents can learn more about NFL Teammate opportunities and register for positions at Teammates help promote a fun and inclusive environment of fan engagement by fulfilling a variety of team roles throughout the NFL Draft footprint.

Fans can go to to learn more about the Draft and also download the NFL OnePass app to make the most of attending and participating in Draft events in Detroit.

About The Detroit Sports Commission
The mission of the Detroit Sports Commission (DSC) is to market and sell metro Detroit as a premier destination for regional, national and international amateur sporting events. The DSC is a not-for-profit charitable organization, IRS 501 (C) (3), and a subsidiary of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB). For more information, visit

About Visit Detroit
Visit Detroit is a private, not-for-profit organization with a mission to drive regional tourism and economic impact by connecting the world to our diverse communities, rich history and spirit of innovation. Visit Detroit is the catalyst for bringing business travel, connections, trade shows, events, and leisure travelers to our region. For more information, visit


Kurt Kosmowski
The Kosmowski Group, for the Detroit Sports Commission and Visit Detroit

Lauren Pulte
Lambert PR