Windsor City Hall with the Detroit Lions flag, January 18, 2024. (Photo by Maureen Revait) Windsor City Hall with the Detroit Lions flag, January 18, 2024. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

Windsor to hold free NFL Draft party at City Hall

Football fans in Windsor-Essex will be able to celebrate the game with their Detroit counterparts later this month.

The City of Windsor has announced it will hold a free NFL Draft party outside City Hall on Saturday, April 27, from noon to 6 p.m.

Windsor is working with the NFL, the City of Detroit, the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association (DWBIA), and Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) to create an interactive event. The City Hall party will feature NFL-themed activities, a draft viewing area, a free football skills clinic for youth, free snacks, and appearances from some of Windsor-Essex's NFL alumni.

Mayor Drew Dilkens said the region is once again in a unique position to share in a major sports-related event taking place across the river.

"With many NFL alumni being from this region, including Brett Romberg, Luke Willson, Tyrone Crawford, and O.J. Atogwe, we're proud to showcase Windsor's strong connection to football," said Dilkens. "Now, with local draft prospect Theo Johnson, a Holy Names Catholic High School graduate, we have yet another special local talent to cheer on."

Johnson played his college ball at Penn State and has declared for the draft.

Romberg played high school football at Belle River District High School. After playing at Miami University, the centre moved on to the NFL, playing with the Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, and Atlanta Falcons.

"I’m sure I can speak for the NFL alumni that grew up in Windsor when I say that we have a tremendous amount of pride, love, and admiration for the city," said Romberg. "We all appreciate the City of Windsor and the local football programs coming together to provide an incredible event during the NFL Draft. This event and the free skills and coaching clinic will really make a difference in so many of the participants’ lives"

Windsor is not a newcomer to NFL events in Detroit. The City was a sponsor of Super Bowl XL in 2006, which was played at Ford Field. Windsor also held events coinciding with the Lions' recent playoff run, which led them to the NFC Championship Game.

Windsor-Essex businesses are also holding draft-related events during the three-day event, which will take place at Detroit's Campus Martius and Hart Plaza on April 25, 26, and 27.

TWEPI has estimated that all hotel rooms in downtown Windsor will be booked for the draft. Transit Windsor will also schedule additional tunnel bus runs during the event to shuttle football fans to and from the Detroit party.

To sign up for email alerts on local NFL Draft-related events, visit the official TWEPI website.

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