Green Bay organizers get outline of 2025 NFL draft, but final decisions yet to be made

GREEN BAY – Organizers of the 2025 NFL draft are beginning to get a picture, if still a vague one, of how the event will be laid out.

The 2025 NFL draft is scheduled for April 24-26 in Green Bay, 308 days from Thursday. Official activities will be at Packers' campus, including Lambeau Field and Titletown, and the Resch complex, from Holmgren Way to Marlee Lane. Attendance of 250,000 is anticipated over the three days, although that won't be 250,000 individual visitors.

Green Bay residents attending the Lombardi Neighborhood Association meeting Wednesday got a picture of what to expect from Aaron Popkey, Packers director of public affairs; Nick Meisner, a vice president of Discover Green Bay; and Capt. Ben Allen, who heads the Green Bay Police Department's draft planning.

Josh Ingersoll of Fitchburg runs past Lambeau Field during the 25th and final Cellcom Green Bay Marathon on May 19, 2024 in Green Bay, Wis.
Josh Ingersoll of Fitchburg runs past Lambeau Field during the 25th and final Cellcom Green Bay Marathon on May 19, 2024 in Green Bay, Wis.

Popkey made it clear nothing was set in stone yet. NFL representatives visited the area several times and are expected back soon, before beginning monthly visits in the fall. For the draft in Detroit earlier this year, some decisions did not come until a month or two before the event.

The draft stage could be in the northeast corner of the Lambeau Field parking lot, by default as much as anything. The location, at the intersection of Oneida Street and Lombardi Avenue, allows for a large gathering of people, would look toward Lambeau Field's east façade, and be accessible from the Resch Expo and Resch Center. But, it should be noted, the NFL has not said that is where the stage will be.

The draft footprint, as it's called, will be fenced off, and fences will include screens. Entrance gates, which include metal detectors and several layers of security, likely will be west of Lambeau Field, either at Ridge Road or Marlee Lane. Fans are counted each time they pass through the metal detectors, which means some will be counted several times a day, and at least once each day they attend.

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The opening day of the draft, Thursday, April 24, could draw the largest crowd, perhaps 100,000 or more people. Popkey said the Packers are not concerned about handling a turnout of that size. A similar crowd attended the 2011 season-opener against the New Orleans Saints. Because the Packers won the Super Bowl the previous season, they hosted the NFL opener, which included a multi-band concert in the Lambeau parking lot. Even after fans filed into the stadium for the game, Popkey said another 30,000 or so remained outside, without issue.

"We can accommodate that size crowed if needed," Popkey said.

Also, draft crowds are more family-oriented than might be expected. Kansas City reported one arrest during the 2023 draft, and Detroit had none this year.

Detroit reported a record turnout of 775,000 people, but was drawing from a metro area several times larger than Green Bay after the Lions had a particularly good season.

"We are not necessarily looking for more people. We just want a better experience for those that come," Popkey said.

The draft is expected to have a $20 million local economic impact and $94 million impact statewide.

Contact Richard Ryman at rryman@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @RichRymanPG, on Instagram at @rrymanPG or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichardRymanPG

This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Packers' Lambeau Field will be key part of 2025 NFL draft in Green Bay

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