What Detroit’s soaring draft crowds could mean for Green Bay in 2025:

GREEN BAY, Wis. – With 275,000 fans estimated to be at the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit, Green Bay can only imagine what the scene will look like in a year’s time as the vast crowd on the big screen revels in the future of football.

“When you add it all up, there’s probably 80,000 people that are not always in town [for a game]. This will be larger,” sports economist and St. Norbert College dean of business and economics Kevin Quinn said. “I think 200,000 people, at any one time, probably 150,000 people. If you can imagine 150,000 people in the streets around Lambeau Field, that is going to look like quite the spectacle.”

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Where will they all fit, as Green Bay’s Lambeau Field has a capacity of 82,000?

“My guess is that they’ll want it outside. The shot where you have the statues is really something,” Quinn said of his thoughts on the placement of the draft stage in front of the stadium. “That whole area around Lambeau has turned into quite the entertainment district. But 150,000 or 200,000 people in town swamp the size of the town.”

Quinn is confident that the NFL will organize the draft well to accommodate Green Bay’s accommodations.

“They have a whole staff of people that know how to take care of this, so while it’s going to be an interesting thing to see, I am certain it’s going to come off very well,” Quinn said. “The NFL has done an excellent job of turning this off-season thing into a major event that crowds out baseball, basketball, hockey.”

For local businesses, Quinn says it is never too early to begin preparing.

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“How are these businesses going to hire enough people to come in and do this work? We already have a very low unemployment rate, and the service industry is always looking for people to hire. If I were a business owner, I’d already be looking at ways to bring people in to come and work,” he said. “They’re staying in hotel rooms, eating in bars and restaurants, etc. That money is largely going to stay in this community. All the people that get paid in these restaurants and bars, it will be noticeable.”

Quinn pointed out that in 2021, Sheboygan bussed in temporary workers for the Ryder Cup.

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