NFL Draft Could Mean Big Business for Door County

The NFL draft is coming to Green Bay, and that could mean an opportunity for big business during an otherwise slow time of year in Door County. 

The NFL announced May 22 that the 2025 NFL draft will take place in and around Lambeau Field and Titletown, and with it will come an estimated 300,000-plus attendees for the three-day event. 

One of the primary challenges of bringing the draft to Green Bay was the limited number of hotel rooms in the city. Green Bay will be relying on capacity in surrounding communities in the Fox Valley, Milwaukee and even Door County to fill that need. Green Bay has just 4,300 hotel rooms, compared to 36,000 in Kansas City, the host of the 2023 draft. Door County has more than 5,000 lodging units on the peninsula, though many of them are not traditionally open in April.

When the University of Wisconsin football team played LSU at Lambeau Field in September 2016, visiting fans spilled into Door County for the weekend. That game drew far fewer fans than the draft promises to bring, and at a time of year when Door County is starved for business. 

Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy called it the “largest event that’s ever been held in Green Bay,” with an estimated economic impact of $94 million. 

Destination Door County president/CEO Julie Gilbert said the organization is already buzzing as it looks at opportunities to capitalize on the event. 

“We’ll be looking for opportunities to work with Discover in Green Bay and talk to our local lodging owners and restaurants to connect with Green Bay and drive visitation in April,” Gilbert said. “It’s a chance to introduce a lot of people to Door County.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is “excited to work with the Packers and Discover Green Bay to bring the 2025 NFL draft to Green Bay and iconic Lambeau field. With the help of numerous local partners on the ground, our prospects and fans will be treated to an incredible, weeklong experience that shows off the city of Green Bay and the state of Wisconsin.” 

The festivities will include several days of activities throughout Green Bay and will feature the NFL Draft Experience – a massive, free football festival – near Lambeau Field to allow fans of all teams to participate and test their football skills, enjoy interactive exhibits and autograph sessions, and take pictures with the Vince Lombardi trophy. The NFL Draft Experience will be open all three days of the event. 

“This is an incredible day for the Packers, Greater Green Bay and the entire state of Wisconsin as we are excited and honored to be selected to host the 2025 NFL draft,” Murphy said in a statement released on Monday. “Today’s announcement is the result of years of hard work by our Draft Committee, particularly Gabrielle Dow from the Packers and Brad Toll from Discover Green Bay. Their tireless efforts putting together a bid and a plan to host the draft here, as well as the extraordinary support we’ve received from our community partners, have created this unprecedented opportunity to showcase our community.”

Although details of the 2025 NFL draft are still being finalized, the main portion of the event is expected to take place on the Lambeau Field and Titletown campus, with a variety of venues that are close to the stadium campus to be used. More information about the 2025 NFL draft will be posted at as the event approaches. 

The 2023 draft in Kansas City last month welcomed more than 312,000 fans and had more than 54 million viewers over the course of the three-day event. 

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