Attending the NFL Draft in Detroit? Here’s everything you should know

The multi-day celebration is taking place this Thursday to Saturday, April 25-27, in downtown Detroit.

An NFL football draft cleat is displayed near the Spirit of Detroit statue, Friday, April 19, 2024, in Detroit. The draft has taken the show on the road for a decade, giving cities a chance around the country a chance to be in the spotlight.

An NFL football draft cleat is displayed near the Spirit of Detroit statue, Friday, April 19, 2024, in Detroit. The draft has taken the show on the road for a decade, giving cities a chance around the country a chance to be in the spotlight.

This week, hundreds of thousands of football fans from around the world will converge in downtown Detroit for the 2024 NFL Draft.

The multi-day celebration will take place Thursday to Saturday, April 25-27 in and around Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza, with a variety of special events planned throughout the downtown area.

The NFL Draft Theater — the main stage where drafted players will walk across after their name is called — is located at the Monroe Street Midway site near Campus Martius Park. Round 1 of the draft will begin at 8 p.m. ET Thursday, April 25, with Rounds 2-3 beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, April 26, and Rounds 4-7 at noon on Saturday, April 27.

The NFL Draft Theater under construction ahead of the NFL Draft in downtown Detroit, April 2024.
The NFL Draft Theater under construction ahead of the NFL Draft in downtown Detroit, April 2024.

NFL Draft Experience

Fans planning on attending in-person need to register via the NFL OnePass app or online at for free entry into the 2024 NFL Draft Experience presented by Rocket Mortgage — a family-friendly festival celebrating all things football. Once registered, a QR code is provided which will allow for entry into the festival footprint. The code will be valid for all three days of the draft.

All Draft Experience activities will take place in Hart Plaza, including games, exhibits, player appearances, autograph sessions and more. Fans inside the Draft Experience will have sightlines to the Draft Theater from Woodward Avenue, or they can watch their team’s draft picks on the many screens set up throughout the festival.

Attendees must purchase tickets separately for entry into the Draft Theater.

Draft Experience hours are from noon to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. A full schedule of activities, appearances and events will be updated throughout the week and can be found online at

Other draft week activities

The Downtown Detroit Partnership will host free Draft Day in the D festivities for all three days of the draft in public spaces throughout the downtown area, including at Capitol Park, Beacon Park, Paradise Valley Beatrice Buck Park, Grand Circus Park and on a closed-off portion of Woodward Avenue between State and Witherell streets. The events will feature food trucks and other vendors, interactive art installations and live music and entertainment.

The Corner Ballpark, located at the site of the former historic Detroit Tigers Stadium, will be hosting activities for kids, including football clinics and NFL FLAG skills and drills.

There are several bars and restaurants hosting draft parties and tailgating events throughout the city, including The Old Shillelagh, Detroit City Distillery, Detroit Shipping Co., Batch Brewing Co., the Siren Hotel, Firebird Tavern, Experience ZuZu, Hockeytown Cafe, HopCat Detroit, Eastern Market and many more.

And the Detroit Lions will be hosting a draft event at Ford Field on Thursday for season ticket holders.

Go to for a full list of local attractions, events and things to do in Detroit during the NFL Draft.

Getting there

From Detroit Metro Airport: From DTW, you can take I-94 East directly for about 20 miles and get downtown. Bus service is also available from the airport to downtown Detroit via the Detroit Air Xpress, or DAX, for $6 in advance.

From the north: If you’re coming from northern Oakland County, the most direct route would be I-75 South. To get to Detroit from Macomb County take I-94 West right into Detroit before hopping on I-75 South to get into downtown.

From the west: From southern Oakland County, the best route is via I-696 East and M-10 South. If you’re coming from the Ann Arbor area, you can hop on M-14 East or take I-94 East.

From the south: If you’re coming from Toledo or the Downriver area, you can take I-75 North through to downtown Detroit.

From Windsor: Transit Windsor will be operating enhanced tunnel bus service for fans during the NFL Draft with service every half hour through the Detroit-Windsor tunnel. Service starts at 10 a.m. each day and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Where to park

Due to the high demand for parking downtown during the NFL Draft, attendees are encouraged to plan ahead and arrange parking ahead of time if planning on driving and parking downtown during the event.

Visitors can find off-street parking options on the Park Detroit app or on Park Whiz. However, street parking will be prohibited in much of the central business district to provide space for police or emergency responders, according to the city.

View a map of downtown road closures here.


Detroit People Mover stops and locations of NFL Draft entrances.
Detroit People Mover stops and locations of NFL Draft entrances.

For those not planning on parking downtown, there are several Park and Ride options available, including fan shuttles, QLINE and buses.

Fan shuttle locations

  • WSU Structures 1 (first come, first served), 450 W. Palmer Ave. ($10 per car)
  • Bagley Mobility Hub, 1501 Wabash Street. ($15 per car) Prepay here
  • River East Garage, 214 Rivard Street. ($15 per car) Prepay here


QLINE, Detroit’s free rail service traveling North and South along Woodward Avenue, will operate with short service routes, but higher frequency service during the draft to accommodate anyone parking on Detroit’s north end.

The service will run from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. and stop at Sproat Street by Little Caesar’s Arena throughout the draft. Visitors will be able to either walk to entrance points down Woodward through Draft Day in the D or can transfer to the People Mover at Grand Circus Park.

Detroit People Mover

Detroit’s elevated rail system will operate 24 hours a day during the NFL Draft, beginning 7 a.m. Thursday through 12 a.m. Sunday, with trains running every five minutes.

All 13 stations will be open for convenient travel to and from the draft activity sites, as well as to nearby restaurants, lodging, parking, and easy transfers between DDOT and the QLINE.

The Fort/Cass Station will be the designated location connecting accessible transportation and is the westside transfer and drop-off point for west-side DDOT and SMART buses.

Bricktown Station is the eastside transfer and drop-off point for east-side DDOT and SMART buses.

Bus drop off locations

  • Fort/Cass (on Cass) People Mover Station (Close to Entrance 3 and People Mover)
  • Bricktown People Mover Station (Close to Greektown)
  • I-75 Service Drive west of Woodward by Little Caesar’s Arena (Close to DDP Draft Day in the D)
  • South side of Ren Cen (Close to Entrance 1)

Bus layovers

The city has designated the following locations as bus layover locations that allow for easy access to the pick-up & drop-off locations.

  • Rosa Parks between Bagley and Lafayette
  • W. Lafayette between Rosa Parks and 16th Street
  • NB Chrysler Service Drive between Russell and Eliot
  • St. Aubin between Vernor and Antietam

Bike and scooter rental

MoGo, Detroit’s bike share system, has 620 bikes and 75 stations in six Detroit metro cities, with options for one-hour ride cycles (after initial payment). There are countless MoGo stations around Detroit including Capitol Park, Woodward and Fort, Larned and Woodward, and the Detroit Riverwalk.

You can also find Lime, Spin, and Boaz scooters all around Downtown Detroit. The scooters and bikes will be geofenced to prohibit their use within the NFL footprint and approximately a one-block radius surrounding the footprint. The City of Detroit is working with scooter operators to set up drop-off valet stations near the NFL footprint entry points for easy pick-up and drop-off of scooters to get around.

Not attending? Here’s where to watch

The 2024 NFL Draft will be broadcast on ESPN, ABC (WXYZ Channel 7 locally) and the NFL Network, as well as streaming on the ESPN, ABC and NFL Network apps.

Coverage of the first round begins at 7 p.m. Thursday on ESPN with the “NFL Draft Countdown.” The draft begins at 8 p.m. Coverage of Rounds 2-3 will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, with coverage of Rounds 4-7 beginning at noon on Saturday.

The Detroit Lions have seven picks heading into Thursday’s draft — including the 29th overall selection — though that could change through trades during the event. Many NFL Draft analysts are predicting Lions general manager Brad Holmes will select a defensive player in the first round.

Detroit Lions 2024 NFL Draft scheduled picks

  • Round 1, Pick 29
  • Round 2, Pick 29 (61st overall)
  • Round 3, Pick 9 (73rd) acquired from Minnesota
  • Round 5, Pick 29 (164th)
  • Round 6, Pick 25 (201st) acquired from Tampa Bay
  • Round 6, Pick 29 (205th)
  • Round 7, Pick 29 (249th)

According to ESPN, the network’s stream will differ from ABC in that it will focus on areas of need for each team, including highlights and analysis on each draftee’s playing style, technique and physical attributes, while ABC will provide player analysis with a deeper insight into the draftee’s background and journey to the NFL.

For more information about the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit, visit

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  • Jenny Sherman
    Jenny Sherman is 101.9 WDET's Digital Editor. She received her bachelor’s in journalism from Michigan State University and has worked for more than a decade as a reporter and editor for various media outlets throughout metro Detroit.