NFL Draft Map: Security, parking, and how to get into the draft in Detroit

Any given Sunday in the NFL is a massive spectacle. But that gets ramped up during two major events for the most popular sport in the country: The Super Bowl and the Draft. This year, the draft comes to Detroit.

After weeks, months, and years of preparation – the hottest spotlight is on the Motor City as the NFL comes to town, specifically to Campus Martius, Monroe Street Midway, and Hart Plaza in downtown. 

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to arrive in Detroit. That means a LOT of road closures as the massive footprint covers downtown Detroit. Stretching along Woodward Ave down to Jefferson Avenue, the NFL's show is going to be huge.

How to enter the NFL Draft in Detroit

If you're an out-of-towner – welcome! If you're a Detroiter or Michigander, welcome! The first thing you need is the NFL OnePass app on your phone.

The app is free but registration is required. Without the app, you can't get into any part of the NFL Draft without the app

Learn more about downloading it here.

Getting around will be tough and those on foot can expect to walk miles if they need to get from one side of downtown to the other.

Navigating Detroit during the draft

There are three entrances into the draft. The one closest to the stage where the draft picks will be announced is Michigan Avenue at Randolph Street. Just south of that is the east Jefferson Avenue entrance, which will offer direct access to the NFL Draft Experience in Hart Plaza. 

The only entrance on the west side of the draft area is at Griswold Street, leading onto Jefferson Avenue. The map below will explain where these entrances are. 

You may want to download the map to your phone – check out the link here to get it now.

Detroit Road Closures

One of the biggest reasons to avoid downtown and plan ahead is the road closures. Almost all are in effect and will be until Sunday. They include Woodward Avenue from I-75 to Campus Martius, Jefferson Avenue from Huntington Place to the Renaissance Center.

Additional closures around Comerica Park will also be in effect since the Tigers will be playing at home this weekend. 

Luckily, if the closures keep you from getting from one side of the city to the other, the People Mover will be operating 24 hours a day and stops are dotted around downtown. A map of the closures is available below:

Where to park for the draft

Detroit is a car-city – considering it put the world on wheels – but that means it is primarily all about driving your personal car down to an event and then driving home. But during this event, that thinking is out the window.

The first thing to know is if you can get to the city without driving a personal vehicle - do that. Along with crowds of people, there will be myriad road closures, parking restrictions, and blocked garages. 

If you do plan to park downtown each day, you're advised to get down before 10 a.m. to avoid issues with traffic or congestion. Some lots that will be available for those that want to use the QLINE to get downtown. They include:

  • WSU Lot 12 at Harper and Woodward - near the Amsterdam QLINE stop
  • New Center Garage at 116 Lothrop - near Grand Blvd
  • Cass Garage at 6540 Cass Ave - near the Baltimore QLINE stop
  • John R & Piquette at 6230 John R. – near the Amsterdam stop

At WSU Structures 1, 5, and 2 at 450 W Palmer Ave cost you $10 per car.  The Bagley Mobility Hub at. 1501 Wabash is $15 per car (out-of-towners, you should prepay). The River East Garage at 214 Rivard Street will also cost you $15 per car (and you should also prepay this one too).

Getting to the draft

Metro Detroit isn't equipped with the same mass transit systems that carry people around other cities like Chicago and New York. Most of the public transit is run on public buses, as well as a few trams operating around downtown. That being said, the Detroit People Mover will give you an incredibly unique view of the draft – from above – while the Q LINE will bring you down Woodward and deliver you to the draft stage.

These are both free! 

SMART is the main operating bus service that stretches from downtown to the suburbs. Anyone coming from out of town would be advised to use one of these buses - which cost $2 a ride. For a complete schedule of SMART shuttles, tap here.

That includes three FAST shuttle routes, which will offer direct transportation from Macomb, Oakland, and outer Wayne County. There's a full list of parking options at each bus stop here

The Detroit People Mover is also an option - see the guide to the stops here. So is the Fan Shuttle Service, which comes with some more cost for parking at connected lots, but a bit more direct transportation to the draft.


NFL Draft in Detroit: Buses, trams, shuttles - here's your complete guide to getting to the draft

From the People Mover and SMART buses, to special shuttles and service to and from the airport - there's several ways of getting to the draft without a car. Good thing too, since parking will be slim and expensive.

NFL Draft Bag Policy

Those coming to the draft will be allowed bags that meet the requirements: clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC bags are allowed, though they cannot be bigger than 12 inches by 6t inches by 12 inches. One-gallon plastic freezer bags are also allowed.

Also allowed are strollers, small cameras, binoculars, and reusable water bottles.

There are more than a few things prohibited from the NFL Draft, with police placing extra emphasis on firearms; there can be no weapons of any kind allowed. 

Alcohol, beach balls or inflatable devices (balloons), footballs, chairs, stools, or other seating devices, drones, fireworks, pyrotechnics of any kind, frisbees, illegal substances, laser pointers, motorized scooters and skateboards, noisemakers, whistles, and horns, poles, sticks, missile-like objects of any kind, tripods, umbrellas, professional cameras without a media credential, and bottles, cans, thermoses, coolers, aerosol cans, cups, and beverage containers of any kind, unless purchased at an NFL venue or an empty, reusable water bottle.

Read more here

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