By Kris Leonhardt
GREEN BAY – The 2025 NFL Draft will take place in Green Bay in the area around Lambeau Field and Titletown on April 24-26, 2025; but, what does the draft look like for attendees?
“The events start typically about noon. It’s a ways out, so we don’t know the exact times, but historically, the grounds have typically opened about noon,” said Discover Green Bay President/CEO Brad Toll.
“And there are all different displays and things. People can look at Super Bowl rings and they have the Super Bowl trophy. I mean, we know what that looks like; we have four of those,” Toll joked.
“There are samples of lockers from all the different teams and it’s all the teams — all 32. So, it’s kind of like a fair almost, with all kinds of exhibits and fun activities, but for all of the teams in the NFL.
“So you know, a lot of times when we have a home game, the other team has a number of their fans visiting us but in this case, they will all be visiting. So you see, we have some of our fan fanatics that are dressed up and every kind of green and gold whatever that you can come up with. Well, we’ll see those from all the other teams that are here — Eagles and the crazy Raider fans with all their spikes and whatnot. You see them all here walking around, and the cool thing is there’s no game; so you know, everybody gets along great and has a good time.”
Toll said that during the Kansas City-host NFL Draft, they noticed that the environment was very family-friendly.
“There’s are a lot of families that are here; there’s a lot of kids that are here as well. They do their ‘Play 360’ — the NFL’s kind of youth program — youth sports and getting kids active. So, there’ll be a whole area where they’ll be practicing or showing off their skills with kicking and punting and passing. So, there’s some of those activities that are taking place. It really is a great time and you know, it’s not a game day, kind of atmosphere. It’s almost more like going to the fair, only it’s all football-related,” he said.
Toll said that after attending the Kansas City event, they were told that not a single arrest was made.
“125,000 people, not one arrest,” he added.
Toll said that he was excited to be a part of bringing the three-day event to Wisconsin for others to enjoy.
“I’m really excited for our community to be able to experience. It’s free, so anyone and everyone can go and what an awesome opportunity for the people in our community to be able to go and see it —the thing that we’ve watched on TV every year — it’s cool that we’re able to do that for the community.
Toll said that organizers are also working on developing a unique experience for the players coming into the area.
“One of the things that we will work on is developing experiences. So as the players come in, and they have some free time here and there, what are some experiences unique to our community? So, sport fishing, perhaps, on Lake Michigan; curling is one of the things that we thought would be kind of fun. You know a lot of them probably haven’t curled before growing up in the southern part of the country,” he explained.
A three-day commercial
“Then, from a tourism perspective, we’re really excited that it’s a three-day commercial,” Toll added.
This also gives the city an opportunity to call itself a “Draft City.”
“A lot of times when say a big sports tournament is thinking about coming to Green Bay, and we’re being considered against other cities. It’s like, ‘Well, did you know we’re hosting the draft in 2025.’ ‘You are?’ You know, suddenly, ‘Well, if you can host that. You probably do a great job with my tournament,’ he explained.
“It really becomes a great sales tool and draws attention to your destination.
“There are some bragging rights that go with it that really helps you sell the community for other business, so we’re excited about that.”
In addition to those in attendance, organizers project that 70 million people will be viewing the draft on television that Thursday night.
“Even with a massive budget, you can’t get that kind of exposure. Certainly, with a community our size and the budget that we have for sales and marketing, I mean, there’s just no possible way you’d get that kind of exposure,” Toll stated.
Next week: The nearly three dozen committees that will prepare