GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – While selecting the right players is always the number one goal on draft night, that’s not the only thing Packer officials say they’ll focus on this week in Kansas City.
Green Bay has placed a bid to host the 2025 NFL draft and team officials as well as representatives from Discover Green Bay are in Kansas City scouting out best practices for how to host an NFL draft.
“These trips are informative and there’s always a little twist in each location so to see that in person is helpful,” said Packers Director of Public Affairs Aaron Popkey who did acknowledge that Green Bay and the surrounding community have unique elements unlike any other NFL city.
Popkey said that Green Bay also plans to put in a bid to host the 2027 NFL draft. He said they expect to find out if the NFL has selected them as the host site for 2025 within the next couple of months.
He estimates that the NFL draft would bring around 240,000 people to Green Bay and would mean a $94 million economic boost for the state. The economic impact in Brown County alone is about $50 million (for context a Packers Sunday brings in about $15 million to the local economy).
The host team and city propose a specific site plan for where they will have the NFL draft and then the NFL approves it. Popkey said they would likely use the entire Titletown campus and would have everything outside although they have weather contingencies.
“It has that opportunity to be a week-long commercial for the area, and we know from previous drafts that if you drive people to the area often they will want to come back and visit,” said Popkey.
A week-long commercial for Green Bay is exactly how Nick Meisner with Discover Green Bay views the draft if it were to come to Titletown.
Even though Green Bay is the smallest NFL town by a pretty wide margin, Meisner doesn’t think this will be a problem when it comes to hosting such a large event.
“I think it’s pretty clear that we have a long history of holding big events (here in Northeast Wisconsin) like when we hosted the Ryder Cup,” said Meisner. “I think this needs to be looked at as a statewide event like the Ryder Cup, the impact will be far and wide and Wisconsin as a whole has some of the best hospitality in the world.”
Popkey said the cost to host the NFL draft is about $7.5 million and that the Packers have already committed about $1 million.
“There’s a lot of support, lots of people want to see it come here and we totally understand that,” said Meisner. “We want to see it come here as well and we feel like we put a pretty good bid forward.”
Meisner said this would be one of the biggest events the city has ever hosted in its history.
“I hear from countless people from around the world who come here for Packers games and are blown away by our hospitality, the cleanliness of our city, the friendliness, and the great experience that people have here,” said Green Bay mayor Eric Genrich.
Green Bay’s city council extended via a resolution their formal support for hosting the NFL draft.
“We’re comfortable hosting thousands and thousands of people for Packers games, the Super Bowl isn’t available to us but the draft is so we’re really interested in doing whatever we can to make sure we’re a host city at some point,” said Genrich.
The Packers aren’t bidding to host the 2026 NFL draft because Lambeau is hosting a Wisconsin versus Notre Dame football game. The 2024 NFL draft is in Detroit.