Visit Detroit and the Detroit Sports Commission Announce Record-Setting 2024 NFL Draft Generated $213.6 Million in Economic Impact




DETROIT, July 11, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Visit Detroit and the Detroit Sports Commission today announced that the 2024 NFL Draft generated a $213.6 million economic impact for the City of Detroit and region, including $161.3 million from visitors coming to Southeast Michigan. That spending from visitors has a long-term economic impact resulting in new income for local households, businesses, and tax revenues.


The comprehensive study, developed by Dr. Patrick Rishe, director of the Sports Business Program at Washington University in St. Louis, analyzed spending levels by both visiting fans and locals, as well as the NFL. The study highlighted significant benefits to local minority businesses and defined the local regional economy as the Detroit region of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.

“Visit Detroit and the Detroit Sports Commission are thrilled to announce that the record-setting 775,000 people who attended the 2024 NFL Draft generated more than $213 million in total spending for Detroit and Southeast Michigan,” said Claude Molinari, President and CEO of Visit Detroit and Co-Chair of the Detroit Local Organizing Committee (DLOC) for the NFL Draft. “That spending went into the pockets of Detroit businesses and will help strengthen our community for years to come. I am also proud that more than 50 million people watched Detroit shine on national television, which will be critical for Michigan’s long-term population and economic growth.”

In addition to the strong economic impact and record-setting attendance, the 2024 NFL Draft provided a unique opportunity to highlight Detroit’s diverse community with inclusive activations and partnerships representative of the local cultures. From generating numerous contracts for local minority businesses to introducing the first-ever Prayer Halls at Draft, the three-day event marked a true celebration of entrepreneurs, music, entertainment, dance, and cuisine within the region.

“The Detroit Local Organizing Committee (DLOC) for the 2024 NFL Draft has been committed to prioritizing business opportunities for minority-owned businesses in Detroit and the surrounding region since we began our strategic planning in 2022,” said Alexis Wiley, Founder of Moment Strategies and Co-Chair of the DLOC. “Our valuable partnerships with the City of Detroit, local minority business organizations, and entities such as the Michigan Black Business Alliance, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, the Detroit Lions, and local ethnic chambers of commerce have significantly benefited local minority businesses. These collaborations have also helped many of these businesses become certified and prepared to secure contracts for future major local events.”

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Economic Impact Report Highlights

  • $161.3 million of the $213.6 overall amount in gross economic impact represents new spending within the Detroit region created by the presence of the 2024 NFL Draft.
  • $106.4 million of the $161.3 million in gross economic impact is being retained long-term within the Detroit region as new income for households, business proprietors, and tax revenues.
  • The $106.4 million represents gross impact on local income, accounting for any money leakages shortly after new money enters the local economy. The overall fiscal/tax impact stemming from visitor spending is $12.3 million.
  • 30.2% of all attendees traveled more than 100 miles to attend the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit.
  • The NFL’s total spend on local minority-owned businesses was $12.1 million. The Michigan Black Business Alliance (MBBA), Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), Visit Detroit and Detroit Sports Commission helped Black-owned businesses secured 34 contracts to work directly with the NFL, totaling nearly 40% of local contracts.
  • MBBA, DEGC, Detroit Sports Commission, and Visit Detroit members who were selected for contracts included the 15 Black-owned concession stands, three staffing companies, three caterers, two bartenders, and one food truck at the “Taste of Detroit” within the NFL Draft Experience at Hart Plaza and other areas within the NFL Draft footprint area.
  • Other MBBA-awarded contracts were awarded to locals working in photography, transportation, decor, laundry and the arts.
  • MBBA members hired more than 500 staff to meet work demand, resulting in approximately $1.2 million in staff income during Draft week.
  • The Detroit Sports Commission’s Living Legacy Initiative helped distribute $1.5 million dollars in grants to local non-profit organizations.
  • Fans from all 50 U.S. states and more than 20 countries attended the 2024 NFL Draft.
  • A fan from Australia traveled more than 11,000 miles to attend the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit.
  • Hotel occupancy in the city of Detroit during the Draft: Wednesday, April 24-84%; Thursday, April 25-92%; Friday, April 26-85%; Saturday, April 27-74%

Other findings in the economic impact study included total spending by companies who attended or were involved with the NFL Draft. Gross economic impact only accounts for spending by non-local fans and companies (with some exceptions) who inject new money into the local regional economy as a result of the NFL Draft.

“Today’s report detailing the economic benefits of the 2024 NFL Draft to our local community reaffirms the decision by the Visit Detroit, Detroit Sports Commission, Detroit Lions and the City of Detroit to bid for and host this prestigious NFL event,” said Dave Beachnau, Executive Director of the Detroit Sports Commission. “This achievement represents the fulfillment of our mission to generate economic impact for the region and to promote the area as a premier destination for leisure travel and sporting events.”

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 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. For more information go to

Chris Moyer/Visit Detroit
248-840-7332 / [email protected]

Kurt Kosmowski/The Kosmowski Group, for the Detroit Sports Commission and Visit Detroit
248-345-4360 / [email protected]

Lauren Pulte/Lambert by LLYC, for the Detroit Sports Commission and Visit Detroit
248-885-2607 / [email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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