Lengel: Detroiters Can Exhale. The NFL Draft Was A Big Hit and There Were No Major Incidents to Ruin It.

April 27, 2024, 11:40 PM by  Allan Lengel


That's the collective exhale of Detroiters after three incredibly high-profile days of hosting the annaul NFL Draft in downtown Detroit Thursday through Saturday. 

Detroit set an all-time attendance record for the draft, attracting more than 775,000 fans for the glitzy, well-polished event without any horrible things happening. Us Detroiters worried about some outbreak of violence, some senseless shooting that would blemish our reputation and hurt the chances of hosting another mega event.

We survived, and with flying colors. We all remember the horror in February in Kansas City after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl. We didn't want that. One person was killed and 22 were wounded in a mass shooting. 

Of course, we can't lose sight in the midst of all of this that Detroit Lions General Manager Brad Holmes was working his magic, drafting some first-rate players that only make the team a stronger contender for the Super Bowl. The media, the fans, have stopped second guessing Holmes. He knows his stuff.

Detroit Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison, appearing Saturday morning on the podcast/videocast "Detroit in Black and White," said : "We have definitely exceeded the NFL's expectations."

Amen to that.

Everything wasn't 100 percent. One caller on 97.1 The Ticket complained on Saturday that he attended the first day of the event on Thursday and said there simply were not enough food trucks to feed the massive crowd. Hopefully there's a lesson there.

Nonetheless, it's time to really celebrate how well things really went. 

Not to be too much of a homer, but Detroit really shined. 

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