Finance committee approves Packers’ letter of support to potentially host the 2025 NFL Draft

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 11:37 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - On Tuesday evening, the Green Bay Packers came to the finance committee meeting to build a case for community support to host the NFL Draft in 2025 or 2027.

The finance committee approved both the 2025 and 2027 community leader agreements with the NFL. These agreements showcase pledges the city and the community would have to carry out and pay for if Green Bay is chosen to host the NFL Draft.

Finance committee President Brian Johnson said this is not a binding agreement. He said the NFL wants to know sooner rather than later that the city is committed to welcoming this big event with open arms since they know how much work and manpower it would take to put on.

“We all understand what’s at stake here,” Johnson said. “This is a huge economic impact. This would be the single largest event that ever happened in the city of Green Bay. And I think there’s there’s a lot of charm from the NFL’s perspective. The NFL’s smallest team is rallying together, pulling together the resources pulling together the support, we’re going to knock their socks off, and I think we’re going to do it really well.”

Johnson said in one weekend while the NFL Draft is in town, it could bring in more than 250,000 people and have an economic impact of $45 million.

One of the big determining factors that the Packers have talked with the NFL about is hotel space.

“When you go to these other major metropolitan markets they have a much higher concentration of rooms and so we don’t have that in Green Bay,” Johnson said. “It’s maybe extending the radius from which you pull those hotel rooms, so you can include perhaps rooms from Milwaukee and Sheboygan and Oshkosh and Fond du Lac but then it’s also taking a look out how we can use our short-term rental units to our advantage to meet those hotel room requirements.”

The NFL Draft would take up an entire weekend, and Johnson said people who like to go to these types of events like to book up a week. He said people have heard the mystique behind Lambeau Field and he wants to get them to Green Bay to see it.

“We want them to experience Northeast Wisconsin hospitality,” Johnson said. “We want them to visit our Downtown and patronize our businesses. And when they’re here when they make that trip here they’re going to visit other places throughout Northeast Wisconsin. That’s the thing that a lot of times when we look at these events and these activities, whether it’s Ryder Cup or any of these other large events, we take really a larger regional approach to how we do this. Much like the Greater Chicago area or Cleveland area, we have everything in Northeast Wisconsin that they have. We just have to position it a little bit differently.”

By agreeing to the following, the City of Green Bay and the community “pledge their support and commitment to ensure the Draft is a successful and smooth event.

  • The host city, county, and/or state and its supporting entities must commit to generally assist the NFL and LOC in coordinating logistics for the NFL Draft, including assistance in securing additional venues, storage space, hotels, and other services and assets.
  • The host city, county, and/or state must designate a dedicated point person, from each entity, to work with the NFL and the LOC throughout the planning process, both to assist in coordinating government-provided services and assets, providing PR support, and identifying and negotiating with private parties for services, venues and assets required by the NFL, LOC and its partners for NFL Draft events.
  • The host city, county, and/or state must agree to seek passage of a “clean zone” ordinance (if a standing ordinance does not already exist) that prevents temporary commercial activity (e.g. temporary advertising, sampling and vending) and protects the NFL and LOC partners from competitive ambush marketing in a designated area around the key venues and hotels during the week of the NFL Draft. Additionally, the host city, county, and/or state should commit resources to enforcing the clean zone ordinance (and other applicable zoning regulations) and policing “ambush marketing” and the sale of counterfeit and illegal merchandise in and around event venues. The NFL and LOC will expect maps and legal ordinance language for legal and events review.
  • The host city, county, and/or state must assist the NFL and LOC in identifying and expediting any permit applications that the NFL, LOC and/or its partners may need to file with any governmental agency in connection with the NFL Draft events. The host city, county, and/or state must provide a waiver of all permitting fees.
  • The host city, county, and/or state agrees to help coordinate plans and must cover all costs related to Public Works, which may include items like city sanitation, trash collection, street cleaning, road closures, etc. during the event period. The host city, county, and/or state will only be responsible for the cost outside of the NFL secure perimeter.
  • The host city, county, and/or state will be responsible to help offset any cost impacts on local businesses due to the proposed layout options in the bid and/or selected by the NFL.
  • The host city, county, and/or state must agree to provide, at its cost, a post-event impact report and grant the NFL and LOC the right to use this report and its data.
  • The host city, county, and/or state must cover all costs related to the deployment of city and state police, fire and emergency/medical services, street closure activities, police escort services, tactical support units and command centers required for the NFL Draft events. This includes all equipment needed for any of the above-mentioned areas, that may include vehicle message boards, site lights, signage, generators, security barriers, etc. Other deployments of public safety resources shall include but are not limited to a complete and thorough inspection of all event venues at a mutually agreeable time; explosive detection canine sweeps of any vehicles entering the secure perimeter during lockdown; uniformed armed police officers posted at all points of entry while being utilized for ingress/egress; tactical police assets as appropriate; crowd control; intelligence capabilities; motorcade/vehicle escorts; counter surveillance, investigative, mounted, motorcycle, aviation, and bicycle patrols as appropriate; airspace security resources (including counter-UAS assets, if available); local fire services; water rescue; urban search and rescue; hazmat mitigation; and mutual aid agreements resulting in support from outside police and fire services as necessary.
  • The host city, county, and/or state must agree to work closely with the NFL and LOC to ensure necessary street closures are made when and where needs are identified for both partial and full closures, at no cost to the NFL or LOC. Both parties recognize that public safety remains a priority and allowing access to both private and public areas is taken into consideration when closures are requested. The host city, county, and/or state must also provide, at no cost to the NFL and LOC, any necessary equipment or material required by the NFL and LOC to prevent vehicle incursion.
  • The lead law enforcement agency working with the NFL and the LOC will provide all current emergency evacuation and preparedness plans specific to the event venues being used. The NFL and LOC will work with the city and county on developing emergency preparedness plans specific to the event. • The primary public safety agencies should designate a representative to be present in NFL Control during event hours to serve as a liaison to the event.
  • The lead law enforcement agency must identify a central location to serve as the command post for public safety, transportation and logistics. This center will be staffed by decision makers from the participating public safety entities, transportation coordinators, traffic planning agency, city, county, and other municipalities, as needed. All communication will be directed through the center and it will serve as the central point of information for Draft week. This command post would preferably be equipped with camera views and communication designed to monitor traffic.

The Green Bay Packers should know of a decision by the spring regarding the 2025 NFL Draft. It would potentially take place during one of these three dates: April 17-19, 2025; April 24-26, 2025; or May 1-3, 2025.

Green Bay City Council is expected to approve the community leader agreements during its next meeting on March 21.

“I think this is just a very basic step in a very long journey,” Johnson said. “There’s a lot of steps that have to occur, but the Packers are working with Discover Green Bay to put together an incredibly competitive application. There is a storied history here in the city of Green Bay that other NFL fans want to experience and we’re looking forward to being able to host them.”