The cities that follow
Dallas followed Philadelphia in 2018 and then Nashville in 2019, where it was reported that there were over 600,000 attendees. Thus far that event has been considered the most successful venue to date.
On May 22, 2019, the NFL announced the locations of the upcoming years’ locations. hosting 2020 will be in Las Vegas, 2021 in Cleveland, and 2023 in Kansas City. Strangely, 2022 had yet to be decided.
Why would they skip a year and leave it open? It seems odd, doesn’t it? Rumor has it that Los Angeles would have been next in line. But they have already dedicated the 2022 Super Bowl there, and the NFL likes to spread the wealth. Kansas City was scheduled to follow so they assigned 2023 to that city. So currently the official word is that the NFL has not completed evaluating bids.
Given the right circumstances, the Motor City could be a great place as host and would yield an estimated $300 million in extra revenue for local businesses. Imagine a large stage with the Detroit River and the Windsor skyline as a backdrop. And the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has made the downtown area along the Detroit River quite a picturesque and visitor-friendly place to be proud of.
Imagine a free shuttle service from the stage to places like Ford Field and Comerica Park. From there, people who prefer to sit but be a part of the activities can enjoy watching the teams’ picks on Jumbotrons with full concession services at both locations.
Of course, for those who prefer additional entertainment, Detroit boasts three casinos, complete with large hotels and huge parking structures. There are the marvelous rows of restaurants of Greektown, with additional renovation plans already underway. And with Canada just across the river, there could be an International theme added to it and entice Canadian NFL fans to cross the river to attend. In addition, it could be an opportunity for Americans who’ve never been to Canada to cross over and visit.
The Ford family, while admittedly not very popular with the Lions fan base, has been part of NFL ownership since 1963. Whatever we may think of them, they are very well-respected and highly regarded in the NFL hierarchy. No doubt they are doing their best to convince the NFL to choose our city for 2022.
Realistically, those other cities competing for the 2022 NFL Draft are great cities too. But many thanks go to the benefactors dedicated to rebuilding the city in recent years for even being considered. Thanks to The Penske Group, the Ilitch family, and Dan Gilbert, owner of Quicken Loans, many areas of our city has been experiencing a much-needed revival.
Unfortunately, Detroit does have a bit of a shortage of hotel rooms to handle the attendance the NFL wants and needs for such events. But there is talk that TCF Bank, who now owns the former Cobo Hall and is now known as the TCF Center may build a large hotel attached to it.
TCF Bank has pledged further investment in the city and the state as part of moving their headquarters here, but it is expected to be completed by 2024. Perhaps we may be forced to wait until then before being rewarded the draft or other major events,