DETROIT, Mich., April 29, 2024 — The NFL Draft ‘touched down’ in Detroit with an overwhelming and unprecedented response. Thursday night, media outlets reported a record 275,000 people descended into Detroit for the festivities. By Sunday, Detroit broke the record with over 775,000 people at the draft, beating Nashville, TN’s attendance record of 600,000 set in 2019.

“Listen, I’m proud as a Detroiter, as a state legislator, and as a Michigander — all eyes have been on Detroit for the NFL Draft, and the world is seeing our city in its best light. This is a new era for Detroit. This past weekend the world is being reminded of who Detroit is and will always be — an economic powerhouse for sports, entertainment, food, culture and fun,” said state Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit), Detroit Caucus chair.

State Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit), sponsor of House Bill 5528, addresses the crowd at the NFL Draft weekend in Detroit, celebrating the signing of the AED bills by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Onlookers pictured include NFL player Damar Hamlin, far left, and state Rep. John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming), far right, sponsor of House Bill 5527 in the AED package, on April 27, 2024, in Detroit.

During the NFL Draft weekend, Carter and Michigan had another reason to celebrate, as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed AED legislation into law at a special press conference where the NFL announced a donation of 50 AED machines for schools throughout the state. The AED bills, House Bills 5527 and 5528 — are designed to prevent deaths due to sudden cardiac arrest in schools, including sporting events.

“To put the gravity of the AED laws signed by the governor into context, about 2,000 young, seemingly healthy people under the age of 25 in the United States die each year of sudden cardiac arrest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And thanks to the partnership with the NFL, we’ve just empowered people to be prepared in case of an emergency. This is huge for public safety in schools and in the community,” Carter said.

The AED donation by the NFL is part of the League’s community and economic focus while hosting the event in Detroit.

Days ahead of the event, analysts estimated Detroit’s potential revenue for hosting the NFL draft. Analysts forecasted the total economic impact of the 2024 NFL draft in downtown Detroit would be more than $160 million; a direct economic impact of $97,513,500 in Detroit and an indirect economic impact of $63,383,775. The city may have also gained another estimated $35 million in revenue from attendees of the draft weekend who spend money on hotels, food and transportation around the city.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the AED legislation into law on April 27, 2024 at the NFL Draft in Detroit. Pictured from left are NFL player Damar Hamilin, Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit), Governor Whitmer, Rep. John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming) and Speaker of the House Joe Tate (D-Detroit) along with supporters.

One Detroit Caucus member focused on helping Detroiters get ready to tap into the economic opportunities in the city ahead of the big weekend by hosting a community information session with special guests including organizers and event planners looking to hire Detroiters.

“As the City prepared for the NFL Draft, I wanted to be sure my community was able to plug into personal-level opportunities that the weekend brought —from jobs at pop-up shops and restaurants to working as part of the setup and breakdown teams or on the crews to keep the city safe and clean during the festivities. I wanted to connect Detroiters to options, and I am glad Detroiters were able to be a part of this national event by securing good jobs and increasing their own revenues this weekend. Having gone through this process they will be even better prepared for the next large-scale event.”  said state Rep. Stephanie A. Young (D-Detroit), Detroit Caucus treasurer.

The head of the Detroit Sports Commission, Dave Beachnau, emphasized the importance of community impact. As part of their bid, the Detroit Sports Commission committed and exceeded the promised $1 million donation to local nonprofit and community organizations.

The news for the Detroit Lions was also historic as the NFL team landed well in the draft, signing the best cornerback in the country in Alabama’s Terrion Arnold. Arnold is expected to be an asset to the Lions next season when they seek another chance at the Super Bowl.

Picture of Speaker of the House Joe Tate (D-Detroit) standing behind a podium, speaking at the NFL Draft.

Speaker of the House Joe Tate (D-Detroit) speaks to the crowd about the recently passed AED legislation at the NFL Draft in Detroit on April 27, 2024. Speaker Tate is a former collegiate and professional athlete with the NFL after graduating from Michigan State University.

Avid Lions fan and Detroiter state Rep. Helena Scott (D-Detroit), Detroit Caucus vice chair, is already thinking about a winning season for the NFL Team.

“It was an exciting weekend to say the least. The NFL Draft in Detroit this weekend has folks thinking about the Lions and how close they came to the Super Bowl. I know people like to say the Detroit Lions and the city are on a comeback. But truth is, Detroit is still standing — we’ve been grinding, building and rising stronger than ever. We were  on the national stage this past weekend for a reason,” Scott said.