GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — There has been buzz about Green Bay hosting an NFL Draft for years.
The city was passed up for 2024, but the Packers have since put in bids to bring it here in either 2025 or 2027.
"I'm optimistic particularly for '25 or '27," Packers President Mark Murphy said before the team took off for their annual Tailgate Tour on April 11.
With that optimism, communities in Northeast Wisconsin have rallied behind the team's pitch.
Brown County, Green Bay, and Ashwaubenon each have signed off on letters of support to help bring the NFL Draft here.
In those letters of support, a municipality pledges to be a partner by helping cover the costs of various services.
"I can't imagining many members of [the Common] Council would be comfortable having the taxpayers provide much money to the effort," Green Bay Common Council President Jesse Brunette said.
Last month, Green Bay's Common Council unanimously voted in favor of the proposal.
Brunette said each member was supportive because of the benefits the Draft would bring.
"I think it was a really easy decision at this stage," Brunette said.
The Packers have said the Draft is expected to bring up to $90 million to the State of Wisconsin.
The team has estimated 240,000 people would attend over the three-day event.
Kansas City is hosting the NFL Draft this year.
Its football team just won the Super Bowl.
"It's very cool to be in Kansas City at this time because it feels like there's so much momentum," Kansas City Sports Commission Director of Marketing and Communications Elliott Scott said.
Scott said the Draft is expected to bring more than $100 million of economic impact and marketing value to the Kansas City region.
"It puts us in a global spotlight that we can't buy," Scott said.
Kansas City's population is more than 500,000 people.
Scott said the Draft is expected to bring about 300,000 fans over the three-day event.
The Draft theater is in front of the city's Union Station.
The renderings below show just how big the staging area is.
"It's larger than an NFL football field, which is crazy," Scott said. "I mean, it almost dwarfs Union Station in some respects."
Two years ago, Cleveland hosted the Draft.
Unlike Green Bay or Kansas City, Cleveland has been through the entire Draft process.
"We absolutely, you know, made lemonade out of lemons," Greater Cleveland Sports Commission Senior Vice President of Business Operations Mike Mulhall said.
However, due to COVID, there were restrictions on the fan experience. Mulhall said that included timed tickets, screenings, and proof of vaccination.
Mulhall said 160,000 people came for the Draft, but Cleveland was originally expecting double that.
"It was awesome," Mulhall said. "It would've been even more awesome if we could've done it without the pandemic."
Cleveland's population is about 3 1/2 times bigger than Green Bay's.
But despite that, Mulhall said he thinks Titletown can do an amazing job hosting the Draft.
"The NFL does a really, they're great partners, they do a really nice job of celebrating your city," Mulhall said.
The Draft is already the talk of Green Bay, and what was seen in Cleveland and Kansas City is a taste of what could happen here, from the excitement to everything else that comes with hosting the biggest event the Packers say this area will ever have.
In 2024, the NFL Draft is being held in Detroit.
The Draft host for 2025 is expected to be chosen sometime next month.
The Packers have said they're eyeing 2025 or 2027 because in 2026, Lambeau Field is hosting the Wisconsin Badgers-Notre Dame Fighting Irish college football game.