Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
NFL will be in charge of draft in Green Bay
GREEN BAY – After chasing their goal for seven years, the Green Bay Packers learned on May 9 that the 2025 NFL draft would come to Lambeau Field, but they had to wait three more weeks before it could be approved by league owners.
“Mark (Murphy) called me on May 9 to say we've got it, but we have to wait for the ownership to vote, and my life flashed before my eyes,” said Gabrielle Dow, Packers vice president of marketing and fan engagement, who led the effort to secure the NFL's premier non-football event for northeastern Wisconsin. Dow spoke during a news conference Wednesday at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay tried for earlier years, 2022 and 2024 and 2025, but was told by the league all those years were off the table, so the Packers focused on 2027, until they got a call in January that said 2025 was again available.
The drafted is projected to generate overall attendance of 240,000 over three days, $20 million in local economic impact and $94 million in statewide impact.
“We are building an experience that is bigger than ourselves,” said Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy. “It is an incredible, once-ina-generation opportunity that will create a lasting legacy for Wisconsin. It will be exciting. It's an awful lot of work. We have less than two years, but we're ready to get started.”
Green Bay was selected to host the draft, but it is an NFL event, which means the NFL will be making all the decisions, including such details as where to place the main stage, how sites will be used and pretty much everything else. NFL representatives will come to Green Bay in June for a site visit, the first of many over the next two years.
“Everyone has an idea of where the main stage will be located. And I'm here to tell you, that is not our decision, that is the NFL's decision, so dream away,” Dow said.
The main stage, NFL Experience, green room, media center, red carpet and fan areas will all take place on the Lambeau Field campus, which for the purpose of the draft will include Lambeau, the Titletown District, Resch Center and Resch Expo.
Brad Toll, president and CEO of Discover Green Bay, said he Googled detail on the draft when the NFL announced before 2015 that it would leave Radio City Music Hall in New York City, which had 6,000 seats.
“I called Aaron (Popkey of the Packers) and said, ‘We can do that at Resch Center,'” Toll said. “He said, ‘We're already kind of talking about that over year.'”
The draft has since grown far bigger, which meant Green Bay had to offer more than the Resch Center to host the NFL's biggest event behind the Super Bowl.
“This one by far is the largest event we've ever been a part of, and really probably the largest event that will ever come to Green Bay,” Toll said. “The only thing bigger is the Super Bowl.”