Rod Wood Hoping To Bring NFL Draft, Super Bowl To Detroit
By Will Burchfield
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) - The NFL Draft has been on the move in recent years, and Lions president Rod Wood hopes its next stop is Detroit.
While he's at it, he's courting the Super Bowl too.
Wood told reporters at the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday that Detroit will participate in the next round of bidding to host both events.
Wood acknowledged that luring the Super Bowl back to Detroit, where it was last played in 2006, is a longshot. But hosting the draft at the recently renovated Fox Theater, he feels, is a much more realistic possibility.
"First of all, it's a centrally located market," Wood said, via MLive.com. "It's easy for fans to get to. I think that our airport isn't anything but a great asset for people to get in and out of Detroit. And I think the Fox Theater would be a great location to hold the draft."
The NFL Draft was held in New York City from 1965 to 2014. But it moved to Chicago for 2015 and 2016, and will be held this year in Philadelphia. Next year's location has yet to be determined.
Wood likes the idea of bringing it to the Fox Theater, which is smack dab in the middle of Detroit's downtown revival.
"There's a lot of close-by venues now in downtown where we can have other draft-related events going on, and I just think the energy and the exposure for the city would be great, with everything we got going on downtown, with all four teams being there, three great venues within walking distance. It would be another thing to put Detroit back on the map to host big, national events," Wood said.
Unlike the draft, the location of the Super Bowl is already locked up through 2021. And the league tends to reserve hosting privileges for teams with newer stadiums, particularly teams in cold-weather cities. That complicates things for the Lions, whose Ford Field home will be 20 years old by the time Super Bowl LVI rolls around in 2022.
Still, Wood is ready to lobby for Detroit.
"From the time that we had the last Super Bowl until now, the city has kind of remade itself. I think it would be a great showcase to show that to the world," he said. "I think it's going to be a challenge. I think that's going to be a hard one to win. I don't think there's been another northern city that's got one beyond the one you get, typically, when you open a new stadium. So that's going to be a hard one to sell.
"But I don't think that should prevent us from trying either."
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