Did Detroit show Kansas City up? How the 2023 & 2024 NFL Draft numbers compare

The NFL Draft concluded last weekend in Detroit, a year after Kansas City hosted the massive event at Union Station.

This year, thousands of fans saw the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs trade up to take Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy in the first round.

The 2024 draft selections were made downtown at Campus Martius, while the NFL Draft Experience also took place in several nearby parks.

With the draft site spanning so far, how many fans attended in Detroit? According to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the draft broke the NFL’s all-time attendance record.

Whitmer said in front of Saturday’s crowd that the 2024 NFL Draft set the record with 700,000 fans and counting. A final tally by ESPN says that over 750,000 people showed up during the three-day event.

Detroit also set the record for Day 1 attendance, with more than 275,000 fans showing up to see the first round.

An average of 12.1 million viewers tuned in on television and streaming platforms to watch Day 1, with viewership reportedly peaking at 34.3 million, according to Front Office Sports.

How does Kansas City compare?

Around 312,000 people attended across the three days Kansas City hosted the NFL Draft at Union Station and the National WWI Museum and Memorial, Brian McCarthy, vice president of communications for the NFL, said previously.

That figure of 312,000 slightly exceeded a pre-draft estimate from Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission and VisitKC. Nelson had put the estimate at 300,000 attendees.

The previous all-time attendance record was set in 2019 by Nashville’s crowd. That year, 200,000 people attended Day 1 and more than 600,000 people attended the three-day event, according to the NFL.

On the first day of the draft, the North Lawn of the National WWI Museum and Memorial reached its capacity of 65,000. The rest of the attendance total was made up from people visiting throughout the three days.

2024’s viewership that day surpassed Kansas City’s. It was the highest viewership since 2021 and a 6% increase from last year. The television audience for Day 1 of the NFL Draft in 2023 was around 11 million.

A total of 54 million viewers watched part of the three-day draft coverage on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes or the NFL Network in 2023.