Packers, Green Bay officials talk plans for NFL Draft coming to town in 2025

Packers and tourism officials discuss the work that needs to be done in the next 2 years
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 9:06 AM CDT|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 4:49 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay Packers, along with Green Bay city tourism officials, discussed 2025 NFL Draft in Green Bay during a news conference Wednesday.

They discussed what to expect, including economic impact and celebrations.

The NFL announced the 2025 draft’s location on Monday during its spring meetings. The draft and related activities will take place inside and around Lambeau Field and Titletown, the collection of shops and restaurants surrounding the stadium. The Packers and Discover Green Bay expect 240,000 to 250,000 visitors for the 2025 draft events, making it the largest event ever held in Green Bay, which has a population of 107,000.

“We’re the smallest market in the National Football League by a wide margin, but we’re a big community,” said Ed Policy, chief operating officer and general counsel for the Packers. “I think it’s very fair to say that no other community on the planet has as close of a nexus to the past, present and future of the game of football than Green Bay.”

“It will be exciting and it’s an awful lot of work, like we’ve talked about we have less than two years but we’re ready to get started,” said Mark Murphy, Chief Executive Manager of the Green Bay Packers.

We learned from several people involved in the process that the Packers expressed interest in hosting the draft from 2016 to 2018. Those talks became serious in 2019, when the Packers asked the Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau, now Discover Green Bay, to join its pitch.

The team would learn on May 9 that they made it.

Organizers said many of the details are still in the early stages, including the dates (they’re looking at three possible weekends).

They’re going to put together several committees to tackle the challenges they’re anticipating -- everything from hotels and lodging to parking, security, and overall logistics.

The biggest concern right now is fundraising. The Packers estimate hosting the NFL Draft will cost about $7.5 million. The Packers contributed $1 million and hope to raise the rest through sponsors, government funding, and private donations. Local lawmakers have said they’re hoping for roughly $2 million in state funding.

“The NFL benefits from this and keeps all, and their sponsors are tied to this as well, so we’re basically just hosting, a host location, and so we do have to raise the money to pay for the infrastructure, whether it’s through waste management, security, parking and creating a campus. So that’s our first bit of business,” Gabrielle Dow, Packers vice president of marketing and fan engagement, said.

Organizers are saying that all these efforts will pay off with a $94 million economic boost to the state. $20 million of the windfalls will benefit Green Bay alone, and particularly small businesses.

“The NFL has a great business connect program that they bring in with the draft, that engages local, diverse business so there’s going to be lots of opportunities for business development,” explained Aaron Popkey, Director of Public Affairs with the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers are saying there is no better partnership than with the NFL.

“One of the things we’re really gonna focus on and what distinguishes us from all the other cities is our history and tradition and the connection between the city and the fan and our team,” Mark Murphy said.

Green Bay will be the 9th NFL city to host an NFL Draft.

Next year’s draft will take place from April 25-27 in Detroit. After being held at various New York locations from 1965-2014, the draft has made stops in Chicago (2015-16), Philadelphia (2017), Dallas (2018), Nashville (2019), Las Vegas (2022) and Kansas City (2023).

Packers management and community leaders are excited about hosting the draft

More than 2.2 million people have attended draft festivities since 2015. This year’s draft brought more than 312,000 fans to Kansas City.

Discover Green Bay president Brad Toll expects many of the visitors to drive to Green Bay. He said that spreads the benefits of the NFL Draft across the state as people stop for gas, food, and lodging along the way.

Green Bay Packers, along with Green Bay city tourism officials, discussed 2025 NFL Draft in Green Bay during a news conference Wednesday.