Detroit breaks NFL draft attendance record with over 775K fans

DETROIT -- During an historic week in Detroit, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer broke some news ahead of the Lions' fourth-round selection Saturday.

Whitmer announced that the 2024 NFL draft had broken the draft attendance record with 700,000 fans and counting. In 2019, Nashville set the previous record after drawing 600,000 fans over a three-day span.

The final tally was more than 775,000 fans attending the three-day draft.

"We have shown the world what the Motor City is about," Whitmer said.

Detroit had never hosted a draft prior to this year but hosted the Super Bowl XL in 2006. On Thursday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that Detroit also set the Day 1 record with more than 275,000 fans in attendance and drew 550,000 in two days before breaking the event record Saturday.

To help kick off the festivities on Day 1, Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown joined rap legend Eminem, Calvin Johnson, Barry Sanders, Jared Goff, Aidan Hutchinson and Goodell on the draft stage in downtown Detroit. St. Brown said he had never seen "that many people in my life."

"I play football games. I've been in front of 100,000 people, whatever, 90,000. But there was like, I was telling someone earlier, 'It's like I was Travis Scott concert,'" St. Brown said. "I was looking up to look away. It was crazy. But there were so many people. It was awesome to see the fans, the city, all coming together.

"I just feel like everything's happening all at once at the right time for this city, for the fans. It's just amazing to be a part of it."

After the draft, Lions general manager Brad Holmes kicked off his news conference praising the local fanbase as the "best fans in the world." He feels like the NFL world got a taste of what Detroit represents on the grand stage.

"Great for our city, great for our franchise," Holmes said. "That's something to be said. You get 700,000 fans at one draft host city, that's about as impressive as it gets. So, just really want to thank the fans, just want to really thank the league and the sports commission and just everybody that played a part in this. I'm just really, really excited about this."