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Detroit Regional Chamber | Preliminary Data from Record-Breaking NFL Draft

Michigan Business Network
June 6, 2024 5:00 PM


MACKINAC ISLAND (May 30) —One month after a record 775,000 people attended the three-day football festival, preliminary data is starting to emerge that demonstrates the event's positive impact on Detroit. The 2024 NFL Draft demonstrated the importance of Detroit and Michigan hosting major events to shine a positive spotlight on the City and State.  

Visit Detroit and the Detroit Sports Commission are working with Dr. Patrick Rishe of Washington University in St. Louis to compile a comprehensive economic impact study. That report will likely be done in late June, but preliminary data points to how successful the Draft was for Detroit.
Visitation Data 
  • 775,000 people attended the event, nearly 200,000 more than the previous record holder, Nashville, in 2019.  
  • 30.2% of all attendees traveled more than 100 miles to attend the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit. 
    • Dr. Rishe’s team conducted more than 1600 attendee interviews to develop an attendee model. 
    • Fans from all 50 states and more than 20 countries attended the draft. 
    • A fan from Australia traveled more than 11,000 miles to attend the Draft in Detroit. 
  • Hotel occupancy in Detroit: 
    • Wednesday, April 24: 84% 
    • Thursday, April 25: 92% 
    • Friday, April 26: 85% 
    • Saturday, April 27: 74% 
  • The city of Detroit has more than 1600 hotel rooms than it did during the 2006 Super Bowl, and occupancy rates matched or exceeded the best four-day period around that event.  
TV Viewership, Digital Data, and Media Reach 
  • 53.6M total audience (TV + Digital) across the three days  
    • 12.1M average viewers on Night 1 (highest since 2021)  
    • Higher than the NBA Finals, Masters Final Round, and World Series.  
  • During Draft Days, NFL OnePass surged as the leading non-paid sports app, surpassing even the ESPN app in popularity across both the Apple and Google Play Stores. 
    • There were 5,798 media stories across all channels featuring coverage of Detroit. 
    • Total Reach/Impressions: 21B  
    • Avg Sentiment: 97% neutral – positive 
    • Calculated ad value: $40M 
Business Impact from the Michigan Black Business Alliance and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation 
  • NFL's projected local spend, excluding NFL hotel block, is $7.33M 
  • The NFL estimated spending with minority-owned businesses $3.28M  
  • The MBBA, DEGC, Visit Detroit, and the Detroit Sports Commission helped secure 34 contracts for minority-owned businesses to work directly with the NFL.  
    • Black-owned businesses made up 40% of contracts awarded.  
    • MBBA members who were selected for contracts included 15 Black-owned concession stands, three staffing companies, three caterers, two bartenders, and one food truck.  
    • Other MBBA-awarded contracts went to those working in the laundry, photography, hauling, decor, and the arts.  
  • MBBA members hired approximately 500 staff to meet the demand and made approximately $1.2M during draft week through all these efforts. 
Claude Molinari, President and CEO of Visit Detroit, shared his excitement: "Detroit is the home of American innovation, five world-changing genres of music, and an iconic ethos of style and design. Last month, during the 2024 NFL Draft, we demonstrated to a global audience what an incredible place our community is to live, work, invest, and visit. As Detroit and Michigan work to attract and retain more people, businesses, and talent, major events will play a critical role in highlighting the dynamism and vitality of our state.” 

Visit Detroit is the official destination marketing organization for the city of Detroit, dedicated to promoting Detroit as a world-class destination for leisure and business travelers. With a focus on showcasing the city's vibrant culture, rich history, and diverse attractions, Visit Detroit aims to drive tourism, economic growth, and community pride. 
More than 700 businesses are represented in the Visit Detroit membership. Visit Detroit was founded in 1896 as the world's first convention and visitors bureau, and more than 700 businesses are represented in the membership. Visitdetroit.com
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