Phoenix — Detroit Lions president Rod Wood has said in recent months he hopes to lure big events to the city, including another Super Bowl. He acknowledged the team has officially expressed interest in entering the next round of bids, but expressed muted optimism about scoring the marquee event of North American sports for the Motor City.
Detroit last hosted a Super Bowl in 2006.
“From the time that we had the last Super Bowl until now, the city has kind of remade itself,” Wood said Tuesday at the NFL annual meetings. “I think it would be great to showcase that to the world. I think it’s going to be a challenge. 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 when you typically open a new stadium,” Wood said. “That’s going to be a hard one to sell, but I don’t think that should prevent us from trying.”
Next year’s Super Bowl is being held in Minnesota, which opened the doors to U.S. Bank Field last season. Detroit would also face competition from several new stadiums, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Washington D.C.
The Lions aren’t building a new stadium anytime soon, but have invested significant resources into revamping Ford Field in recent years. After upgrading the indoor and outdoor lighting, turf and sound system last year, the building is getting upgraded Wi-Fi, video boards and suites for the upcoming season.
While the Super Bowl bid is likely to fall short, Wood has also told the league he wants to bring the NFL draft to Detroit. After decades of being held in New York City, the now-touring event will be hosted by Philadelphia next month. A 2018 location has not been announced.
Wood is already preparing his pitch.
“First of all, it’s a centrally located market,” he said. “It’s easy for fans to get to. Our airport isn’t anything but a great airport. I think the Fox Theatre would be a great location to hold the great. There are a lot of great venues close by that we could have a lot of other draft-related events going on. I just think the energy and exposure for the city would be great.”