Editor’s Letter: 2024 City Guide, the NFL Draft, and Baseball Season

Hour Detroit’s editor-in-chief discusses our April 2024 issue including this year’s City Guide, the NFL Draft, baseball in the D, and more.

Welcome to Detroit — we’ve been waiting for you.

Seriously, besides this being my way of working Taylor Swift lyrics (or close enough) into my editor’s letter, that statement is 100% true. For more than two years, the city and its residents have been counting down the days to the NFL Draft, one of the most anticipated events in sports. And I mean literally counting down.

Since April 2022, we’ve had a countdown clock at Campus Martius Park — the hub of the NFL Draft activities — which started at 742 days out.

In true Detroit style, that clock was created by a local creative agency (DG3D) in its studio at the site of the Packard Plant, which according to Historic Detroit was “a trailblazer that changed the way auto plants were built.”

If you’re a newcomer to Detroit, you are probably familiar with our buzzword, “grit.” That word can conjure up many Detroit-related entities — from buildings that have seen better days, like the Packard, to teams and landmarks that have seen new life, like the Detroit Lions and the Book Tower.

Kate Walsh // Photograph by Brad Ziegler
Kate Walsh // Photograph by Brad Ziegler

In our 2024 City Guide, we hope to give you a feel for all of that.

In this version of our annual feature, our content is geared toward the 300,000 people who are expected to fill our streets, restaurants, hotels, and shops during the draft and the related events later this month.

In addition to directing you to some of our favorite food, drink, shopping, and activity venues, we also consider what the city looks like from a newcomer’s perspective.

In “Motown Magic,” New York-based writer Dana White, who had never really visited Detroit before November, gives us an honest and fresh take on the city that we staff members know so well. It’s a fun and informative read that I think both visitors and residents will appreciate and find useful.

The 20-page feature also includes an article by Bill Dow on how the three-day event came to Detroit and what it means to the city, and a skyscraper guide, for those of you who are looking up in awe and wonder.

The April issue wouldn’t be complete without some Tigers content. (How strange is it that we are talking about the Lions in April?) One of the biggest news stories of the baseball offseason was not the move of an MLB player from one team to another but the White Sox’s broadcaster, Jason Benetti, jumping ship to join our boys of summer.

One of my favorite parts of writer Jim McFarlin’s interview with Benetti is when he asks him, “Why are you here?” Benetti’s answer: “I did it … because of the people here.”

He was talking about the Tigers’ management, but I have a feeling once he moves here and starts talking to regular folks (as Dana White did for her story), he’ll be even happier about his decision.

So again, welcome to Detroit! Grab a Coney or a cocktail, support local businesses, talk to Detroiters, make new friends from all over the world, and have fun!

This story originally appeared in the April 2024 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. To read more, pick up a copy of Hour Detroit at a local retail outlet. Our digital edition will be available on April 5.