To mark the 150-day countdown to the 2024 NFL Draft, the Detroit Sports Commission and Visit Detroit on Monday announced a $1 million living-legacy donation to support youth literacy and active play in the city of Detroit and its surrounding communities.
Detroit hosts the 2024 NFL Draft from April 25–27 in the area around the Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza. The living legacy program will be carried forward by the Detroit Sports Commission past the NFL Draft, through the 2027 NCAA Men’s Final Four at Ford Field and beyond.
“This unprecedented legacy program will allow us to build on the momentum from the 2024 Draft and continue to support important causes that impact Detroit youth,” said Detroit Sports Commission Executive Director Dave Beachnau. “The Detroit Sports Commission commits to including a community legacy component to all major sporting events coming to Detroit and ensuring that every event has a positive impact on our community.”
The Detroit Sports Commission and Visit Detroit were joined by a coalition of key stakeholders throughout the city and state along with the Detroit Lions, Downtown Detroit Partnership, Rocket Companies and Wayne County to announce new hospitality and community initiatives around the draft.
“The 2024 NFL Draft will highlight all that makes Detroit and Southeast Michigan a great place to live, work, invest, and visit,” said organizing co-chair and Visit Detroit President and Chief Executive Officer Claude Molinari. “Visit Detroit is proud to partner with Detroit Metropolitan Airport, local hotels, restaurants and shops to create a best-in-class hospitality experience for visitors from touchdown to takeoff.”
Literacy non-profit Beyond Basics and Project Play, an initiative of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, were selected as the inaugural non-profit partners by a committee of community leaders from local education, non-profit, foundation and youth sports organizations.
“Thank you to the commitment of the local community engagement committee and to our local youth literacy and active play non-profit partners Beyond Basics and Project Play,” said Faye Nelson, director of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “We salute those who have generously donated and provided their commitment to help create a lasting living legacy for youth in the seven districts of the city of Detroit and the Detroit region.”
A comprehensive “Detroit Experience” initiative led by Visit Detroit and the city, in conjunction with local grass-roots partners, will include a neighborhood engagement program featuring pre-draft events to be held at city parks and recreation facilities.
“We are so thrilled to connect the NFL Draft to our city center,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Detroit’s NFL Draft is going to be fully integrated into our downtown and have activities in our neighborhoods. It certainly will be a fun and memorable event for thousands of football fans that will showcase the great progress our city has been making.”