NFL Draft in Detroit: Pop-up shops planned for re-purposed empty downtown buildings

The NFL Draft begins in two months which means the City of Detroit will be in the national spotlight.

"With the NFL Draft with hundreds of thousands of people descending on the City in Detroit and Southeast Michigan, it’s going to be a spectacular show," said Claude Molinari, Visit Detroit CEO.

Molinari says the city is thrilled to host the three-day extravaganza for the NFL Draft.

"First of all our partners at Bedrock and the Rocket family of companies are doing an incredible job not only supporting us, but also making the city more attractive," he said.

And making the city aesthetically appealing is what they are focusing on right now, considering the number of empty and boarded-up buildings in the downtown area.

"They’re adding pop-up locations and stores and restaurants," he said. "So, we’re going to have a lot of things. Fanatics is coming with a gear shop."

Molinari says at least a dozen empty storefronts will have something in it - so, people won't have to go too far, to have fun.

"Often when people are coming to a place they say where am I going to eat? Where am I going to shop? Where am I going to get my food? Where am I going to get my gear?" he said. "So all those things come into place and again I think we’re going to be hit with such an incredible number of people, that the ability to augment it and have more opportunities and more options I think is really critical."

Even though the short-term plans include pop-up shops, they say there is have a long-term plan to have permanent residents in those buildings.

"Well that’s the hope," Molinari said. "Again, as we’re developing and, when you look out over the city, you see cranes everywhere you look, there is development underway, we're building hotels, we're building new establishments."

By building up downtown as much possible, and with hosting the NFL Draft, he believes is going to lead to new economic heights and less vacancies.

"I think now getting hundreds of thousands of people here and a worldwide TV audience of over 60 million, people are going to see Detroit in a very different light. and that perception change is going to catapult us to a different level," he said.