NFL Draft Attendance Record: Detroit Shatters Expectations With 700,000 Fans in Attendance

With Detroit hosting, the 2024 NFL Draft set a new attendance record. Is there any slowing down the surging popularity of the annual event?

For most professional sports leagues, an annual draft is a modestly successful event that generates interest among die-hard fans. Somehow, some way, the NFL has turned its draft into one of the more popular events on the United States sports calendar. All you can do is respect it.

With Detroit hosting, the 2024 NFL Draft shattered expectations while setting a new attendance record. And, according to commissioner Roger Goodell, cities are almost as desperate to host the draft as they are the Super Bowl.

Detriot Sets Attendance Record for NFL Draft

With Day 3 of the draft underway, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer stepped to the podium to break some news.

“We have shown the world what the Motor City is all about,” Whitmer said in front of a raucous crowd. “And it is my honor to announce that the 2024 NFL Draft has now broken the all-time record: 700,000 (fans) — and counting. So, thank you, NFL fans, and thank you, Detroit.”

Earlier Saturday, NFL chief football administration officer Dawn Aponte revealed that 550,000 fans attended the draft over the first two days — a new record.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Complete Results, Recap, Order, and All 257 Picks

Nashville (2019) previously owned the NFL Draft attendance records for the first two days (200,000) and overall (600,000), per The Athletic.

NFL Draft Relevance at All-Time High — What’s Next?

Multiple cities hosted the NFL Draft from the mid-1930s through the mid-1960s, but New York hosted each event from 1965 through 2014. The league decided to take the draft on the road in 2015 — and it hasn’t looked back.

During a Friday appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Goodell shared insight into the draft’s skyrocketing popularity among potential host cities.

“The bidding process for this, actually, there’s almost as much demand for the draft as there is for the Super Bowl,” Goodell said. “Because so many cities can’t host the Super Bowl, but they can do the draft. It’s getting to the point now where the draft, it’s not in the same league, but it’s pretty darn close.”

So, the draft is showing no signs of slowing down. The relevance of the draft confounds many, but this weekend’s attendance numbers prove nearly everything the NFL touches turns to gold. Just look at the hoopla surrounding the scouting combine, which is a glorified job fair.

Next up: Green Bay, which will host the 2025 NFL Draft and potentially push the event to even greater heights.

Looking for everything you need surrounding the 2024 NFL Draft? Make sure to check out the latest draft results, overall team grades, and updated best remaining players available at every position!

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