How Metro Detroit is Celebrating the NFL Draft

Tailgates, giveaways, pop-ups, and more are in the works ahead of the NFL Draft.
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Area artists are giving away hand-painted leather footballs in celebration of the NFL Draft. // Photograph courtesy of Bedrock

The highly-anticipated 2024 NFL Draft is being held in downtown Detroit from April 25-27. This event is expected to be one of Detroit’s largest in years, as free admission typically draws hundreds of thousands of visitors. The Draft gives the city an exciting opportunity to show its spirit and pride through events, giveaways, installations and more. Here are a few to look out for.

Hand-Painted Shinola Leather Football Giveaway

Bedrock, Design Core, and Detroit artists are partnering for a special giveaway of a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted leather football. Artists Freddy Diaz, Ijania Cortez, Ivan Montoya, Jesse Kassel, and Kacey Kal created Detroit-themed footballs — perfect memorabilia for the Draft. Throughout the month, you can enter this giveaway with a simple QR code found at 20 participating locations, including Busted Bra Shop, Former Vintage, Girl Boss Fashions, Rebel Nell, and more. Winners will be randomly selected the first week of May. For official sweepstakes rules and guidelines, visit hub.sweeppea.com.

Born In Detroit

This pop-up clothing store is the perfect stop for Draft-themed merchandise. Born In Detroit celebrates the city’s strength for those who call Detroit home and those just stopping by with skyline designs, Detroit brands and sports teams, and more on hoodies, tees, and even snapback hats. This limited-time store will be open from March 15 through April 30. Born In Detroit, 1275 Woodward Ave., Detroit; bornindetroit.store.

Hollywood-style Detroit Sign

Those coming into Detroit on I-94 will know they are in the right place as the city constructed a 10-foot-high, Hollywood-style sign on the side of eastbound I-94 ahead of the Draft. The sign, which has gotten mixed reactions, sits between Wyoming and Central avenues, and similar billboards will welcome visitors to the city at multiple locations, including I-75 at Eight Mile, I-96 at Telegraph, and more. I-94 between Wyoming and Central avenues.  

DCLEATED

The “DCLEATED” art exhibit displays 20 giant football cleats covered in murals by local artists to celebrate the Draft through the City Walls program. Each artist partnered with a local non-profit and the cleats will be auctioned following the Draft to benefit the chosen organizations. Cleats are displayed at the Motor City Casino Hotel, Shinola Hotel, DMC Children’s Hospital, and more. For more information, visit detroitmi.gov.

Draft Day in the D

This three-day party is set to take place across various parks and public spaces in downtown Detroit. Enjoy live feeds of the Draft, music performances, food trucks, beer and spirits, vendors, and more at Capitol Park, Beacon Park, Paradise Valley Beatrice Buck Park, Grand Circus Park, and a portion of Woodward Ave. Special activities like cigar rolling at Paradise Valley Park and cornhole at Beacon Park will be available, too. Free and open to the public. Multiple locations. For more information, visit downtowndetroit.org.

Football Fan Watch Party at Detroit Shipping Company

Each day of the Draft, Detroit Shipping Company opens early to host a full-sound viewing party. Enjoy drink specials from the bar, unique food options from five restaurants, raffles, giveaways, free parking, and other activities. Private event spaces to host your own viewing party are also available. Detroit Shipping Company, 474 Peterboro St., Detroit; detroitshippingcompany.com.

Greektown Tailgate

The Greektown Neighborhood Partnership is hosting a three-day tailgate and viewing party from noon to midnight each day of the Draft. Two blocks will be closed off for live music performances, sports viewing, activities, appearances, giveaways, and food and drink in the heart of Greektown. Free and open to the public. Greektown, Monroe Street between St. Antoine and Brush streets; greektowndetroit.org

Hispanic Business and Sports Celebration

This event, hosted by the Hispanic C-Suite Corporate Council, honors the best of Hispanic culture in the NFL and MLB leagues through discussions on the importance of sports in the culture, Latinas in women’s sports, and more as well as networking opportunities and an awards luncheon. April 24 at 9 a.m. Elevate at One Campus Martius, 1 Campus Martius, Floor 16, Detroit; eventbrite.com.

Detroit City Distillery

Enjoy your favorite spirits at Detroit City Distillery, which hosts various special events during the week of the Draft. The distillery will bring its bartenders to the Foundation Hotel for signature cocktail evenings from April 23-26 and offer tours of its whiskey factory from April 23-27. You can’t miss the live viewing party at its Factory Cocktail Lounge on April 26. Another viewing party will be available at the distillery itself, too. Detroit City Distillery, 2462 Riopelle St., Detroit; detroitcitydistillery.com.

For more information on the NFL Draft, visit nfl.com/draft, and for more events and things to do in metro Detroit, visit hourdetroit.com.