Countdown to 2025 NFL Draft in Green Bay begins after ceremonial handoff

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) – The countdown to the 2025 NFL Draft officially began on Tuesday, with a ceremonial draft handoff from Michigan to Wisconsin.

A commemorative football arrived in Milwaukee Tuesday morning via ferry across Lake Michigan. A group of bike riders escorted the football north to Titletown where kids joined them for the last leg of the ride.

In a ceremony at Lambeau Field, Packers brass unveiled an NFL draft countdown clock in the atrium.

“We have an awful lot of great things going on and this will probably be the best draft ever held,” said Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy.

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Officials expect the draft to generate over $90 million of economic impact for the state of Wisconsin. Initial estimates predicted around 250,000 people would visit Green Bay across the three days of the draft. A few weeks ago when Detroit hosted, over 700,000 people attended.

At a press conference in Milwaukee, Governor Evers, Packers President Mark Murphy, NFL officials, and organizations from across the state were recognized for the role they have played in bringing the Draft to Green Bay.

“Folks, this is a win-win-win for our state,” said Governor Evers. “It’s a win for the fans, it’s a win for the players and all the folks that will be experiencing all that Green Bay and Wisconsin has to Offer. An effort that’s expected to have a nearly $100 million positive impact across the state.”

Evers said his administration has secured millions of dollars in funding to assist with marketing and advertising efforts ahead of the draft. This includes $2 million to Discover Green Bay.

After the honorary football arrived in Milwaukee on the Lake Express, Pedal to the Draft kickstarted the journey to Green Bay.

A group of cyclists formed from members of the Packers, Travel Wisconsin, Wisconsin Bike Fed, Green Bay-Area Bike Shops, and bicycle advocates.

“Pedal to the Draft combines two of our very favorite parts: biking and football,” stated Anne Sayers, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary. The Packers Bike Kids tradition is such a joy to see, and it is so fun to honor that tradition with this event. It’s just so very us what’s happening here today, and we have so much to be proud of for both sports!”

“This is a once in a lifetime adventure for us and we were really excited that the Packers asked us to be involved with this,” said Tracy Flucke who was one of the bike riders.

The group departed from Milwaukee at around noon on Tuesday on their way to Lambeau Field, stopping at local spots along the way for pictures to highlight all that Wisconsin has to offer, from the beautiful trails to the outdoor recreational opportunities.

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“Whether they ferry or fly, pedal or drive, they are in for an unforgettable experience in Green Bay and beyond,” explained Sayers. “Visitors are going to love soaking up the Packers energy and legacy at Lambeau and Titletown, but I also encourage draft-goers to make plans to explore even more of Wisconsin while they’re here.”

Below is a list of some of the places the group stopped at:

  • Summerfest (Milwaukee)
  • Milwaukee Museum of Arts (Milwaukee)
  • Interurban Trail (Cedarburg)
  • Kohler-Andrea State Park (Sheboygan)
  • Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center (Manitowoc)
  • Devils River Trail (Denmark)

Once they finished seeing all the sights, the cyclists arrived at the Ray Nitschke Field in Ashwaubenon, where a crowd of families and local kids gathered to join them for the end of the Journey to Lambeau Field for a big reveal of the countdown clock.

“We’re ready to show folks from across the country what Wisconsin and cheeseheads are all about,” said Governor Evers.