“…we knew early on it would be a great event for Green Bay to host. We can’t host a Super Bowl, so this really is our Super Bowl.”– Brad Toll, Discover Green Bay
The NFL Draft: Growing confidence
By Kris Leonhardt
The 2025 NFL Draft will take place in Green Bay in the area around Lambeau Field and Titletown on April 24-26, 2025. We continue our coverage of the planning already taking place.
GREEN BAY – Work on romancing the NFL to Green Bay for the Draft started when the professional football league decided to pull the event out of New York City.
The NFL Draft was held in New York from 1965 to 2014 at Radio City Music Hall — which hosted the draft nine times — when the Rockettes’ spring spectacular pushed the draft into May in 2014.
“It was in New York City for years and years and years. And Radio City Music Hall is where it was held, and the next year, they couldn’t hold it. They had another event,” said Discover Green Bay President/CEO Brad Toll.
“And as soon as I saw that story, I looked at all of the Radio City information I could find and their capacity is about 6,000. Seating in the Resch Center, it easily can do 8,000.
“So, I called Aaron Popkey over at the Packers and said, ‘Hey, we could do this in Green Bay,’ and he said, ‘You know, we were just talking about that over here; like maybe that would fit here.’ And I said, ‘It absolutely does.’”
So, the Green Bay Packers and Discover Green Bay applied, but they were turned down that year.
Chicago got the Draft in 2015 and 2016, where it was held at the historic Auditorium Theatre.
“So you know the first time we bid on it, it was probably a letter that said, ‘Hey, we’d love to host it,’” Toll recalled.
“Now that bid book is probably 65 pages – 70 pages, and very, very detailed — all the information. Our bid was hundreds of pages long, like a big three-ring binder of all the information that you needed to provide. So, certainly bidding on it grew from that time. But you know, we knew early on it would be a great event for Green Bay to host. We can’t host a Super Bowl. So this really is our Super Bowl.
“Being able to host a draft, and I think the NFL knew that too, that this meant a lot to our community and the history and the tradition that’s here in Green Bay, and it really is some of the roots of the NFL are here. We knew they really wanted to bring it here too. It was a matter of being confident that we could do it, we had the hotel inventory that we needed.
“In a lot of the other cities, they have 800 to 1,000-room hotels. You know, we don’t have hotels that size, which means you need a lot of them to make up for that one big one.
“We certainly come with some extra things that are a little different than other cities; but, through the bidding process, the NFL I think has gotten very confident in Discover Green Bay and the Packers’ ability to be able to pull this off with them as partners.”
NFL Draft coverage will be ongoing over the upcoming year.