The City of Detroit is gearing up for the 2024 NFL Draft and hundreds of thousands of football fans will be coming to the Motor City.
It’s such a large influx that there’s actually not enough hotel space in the city to fit all the fans, with many turning to short-term rentals in and around the city.
It’s another opportunity brought by what has been an incredible couple of months for Michigan sports.
One of the partners of the NFL Draft is Visit Detroit. Chris Moyer, the senior director of communications, knows how big of an impact the draft will be.
He said there isn’t a single city in the United States that can truly host the amount of people expected to come.
“That’s why the NFL looks at cities that have a great regional footprint,” Moyer said. “People will be staying in Washtenaw County in Ann Arbor, up in Brighton, there will be people staying down in Toledo because this is the event to be at.”
Moyer said there are just over 5,000 hotel rooms in Downtown Detroit and another 45,000 in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties.
He expects all of those to be booked, and even Windsor will be getting business from NFL Draft visitors.
According to Moyer, they’re looking to break the record for hotel revenue in Southeast Michigan, which was just set last year at over $1 billion.
With city hotels booked up, many people will be turning to short-term rental properties.
Alex DeCamp is the manager of Great Stays, which oversees about 30 short-term rental properties across Detroit. He said people have already reached out and some properties for the NFL Draft went for a premium.
“For a weekend that might typically get $600 for something that’s near the stadium, I think it will start getting booked for a few thousand, and that really changes the projection for the year for some of these property owners,” he said.
The NFL Draft runs April 25-27 in Downtown Detroit.
I also went through Airbnb’s website to see how Detroit rental pricing that weekend compares to the previous and following weekends.
The per-night rate on most rentals was double to quadruple their normal rate for the NFL Draft.
“I could even see some people opening up rooms in their house,” DeCamp said.
Visit Detroit has been working for almost a year now to be ready for the NFL Draft. The league said the city was chosen because of our “can-do spirit.”
“This is an economic impact for the city, for the region, in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” Moyer said.