DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit is officially on the clock. One of football's biggest events is coming downtown.
“With the first pick in the 2024 Draft, the NFL selects Detroit,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during an event at Campus Martius Park honoring the 2024 NFL Draft coming to downtown Detroit.
The NFL Draft is in two years away, but the celebration starts now.
“When the music was playing from the DJ, I could just feel the energy in my heart,” Ann Arbor teen John Verga said.
Fans from near and far met up at Campus Martius Thursday to kick off the festivities.
Goodell, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan were just a few of the speakers at the free community event.
“It’s going to be a non-stop party on the streets of Detroit,” Duggan said.
A party of about 600,000 people and opportunity for businesses to cash in.
“Business themselves can start thinking about how they engage not only with Downtown Detroit Partnership but with the NFL to create a fan experience unlike anything else, “ Downtown Detroit Partnership CEO Eric Larson said.
Fans also got a chance to take pictures with a couple legends, Lomas Brown and Jason Hanson.
The retired Lions kicker says the NFL Draft coming to Detroit is a reward for fans.
“We’ve always known as players that we have some the best fans in the NFL. They got overlooked because the team hasn’t performed, but this will be a great time for them,” Hanson said.
Fans told 7 Action News they will be counting down.
“It's huge for all of us fans. Go Lions,” Noah Taeckens said.
To take a picture with the 12-foot-tall interactive clock, head downtown to the Woodward Esplanade that links Campus Martius to the Detroit Riverfront.
Officials say the clock will “shine a light on the coming of the 2024 NFL Draft to Detroit in the Spring of 2024, the clock is expected to become a popular photo and selfie spot for locals and visitors similar to the iconic Spirit of Detroit monument.”