Axios Detroit

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🏈 On this day in 1936, the NFL held its first draft.

  • Today's 1 big thing looks at Detroit's preparations for this year's event, almost 90 years later.

Today's weather: Partly sunny, with a high near 55.

Today's newsletter is 899 words — a 3.5-minute read. Edited by Everett Cook and copy edited by Cindy Orosco-Wright.

1 big thing: NFL Draft prep goes into overdrive

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

After Sunday's Super Bowl, Detroit becomes the epicenter of the NFL.

Why it matters: The league and local officials are making final preparations for the city's biggest event in nearly two decades — and with it, the opportunity to showcase Detroit to a massive TV audience and hundreds of thousands of visitors.

  • A successful draft could lead to other major sporting events here, like the Big Ten football championship or the NBA All-Star Game.

What they're saying: "After the Super Bowl, from the NFL's perspective, all eyes will be on Detroit and the draft," Alexis Wiley, former chief of staff to Mayor Mike Duggan and co-chair of a local organizing committee, tells Axios.

What's happening: The draft will largely take place around Campus Martius and Hart Plaza on April 25-27. But other public spaces throughout the city, such as Michigan Central Station and Eastern Market, will also be activated with audio and visual displays so fans throughout the city can follow along.

State of play: Business and tourism groups — Visit Detroit, the Detroit Sports Commission, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Dan Gilbert's Rock Companies and others — are coordinating draft-themed events throughout the city in the coming weeks and months.

Yes, but: The all-powerful NFL, by far the largest U.S. sports league, is calling the shots. Local draft planners have been anticipating the Super Bowl's conclusion so they can capture the league's attention for final draft preparations.

  • "Come Monday, we'll give them 24 hours to relax and then be like, 'Let's get to work here,'" Visit Detroit president Claude Molinari tells Axios. "I think there's going to be a lot of perception changes [about Detroit] based on this event."

Between the lines: In many ways, 2024 is the perfect time for Detroit to host the draft.

  • The Lions are coming off their best season in 30 years, and fans will be glued to television throughout draft week.
  • Officials are also expecting plenty of fans from NFL cities within driving distance: Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Buffalo.

Read more

2. Where to book a conference room

HomeBase's conference room and presentation hall. Photos: Courtesy of HomeBase

Hi, Annalise here. Those of us who work from home still need to ditch the PJs sometimes and meet in person.

  • Cafés are great, but it can be surprisingly difficult to book an affordable conference room in advance when you need a quiet place to converge.

I recently went on a mildly frustrating quest for options when Axios' executive editor was in town, and now I'm here using what I learned to provide some options.

  • Anything I missed? Reply to this email to let me know!

HomeBase, a community space and business resource center in Live6:

  • $35/hour for a conference room that seats around 10, and $55/hour for a larger presentation hall.
  • Use this Google form to book.
  • Bonus: You can drop in to cowork for $5/hour, but call ahead to confirm: (313) 578-0304.

U of M Detroit Center in Midtown:

  • $65/hour or $215 for four hours for a larger space that seats 20 people.
  • Book through the website.

Detroit Public Library locations:

  • The DPL offers free meeting rooms with sizes ranging from 10-person capacity to hundreds of seats.
  • Details on rooms and sizing, including at the main branch, are on the DPL's website. Book in advance by calling or visiting the branch, or grab a room first come, first served.

Three more options

3. The Grapevine: You heard it here

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios; Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

🇵🇸 Local Arab American leaders are expected to meet with White House officials today to discuss their concerns with President Biden's aid to Israel amid its war with Hamas in Gaza. (Axios)

🚗 Eastpointe officials approved a plan to reduce the driving lanes on 9 Mile from five to three to promote safety and walkability. (Fox 2)

🌭 Metro Detroiter Tim Robinson is bringing a live version of his hit comedy show "I Think You Should Leave" to the Fox Theatre on April 5. Tickets go on sale tomorrow. (Detroit News)

4. Things to do in Detroit this weekend

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

It's a fake spring this weekend with temperatures in the high 40s and 50s.

  • Here are a couple of things to do:

🎊 Celebrate Lunar New Year on Saturday at the Farmington Hills Community Center.

  • Events include a performance from frequent Detroit Symphony Orchestra soloist Xiao Dong Wei at Hawk Black Box Theatre. Tickets start at $15 in advance.

⛅️ And take advantage of the sunshine by walking downtown and taking a picture inside the Art Deco-style Guardian Building, built in 1928. ​​

Two more events, including André 3000

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5. Joe's winning Super Bowl snack

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

👨‍🍳 Joe here with an easy recipe for the Super Bowl that's undefeated in my kitchen: Guillen's game day nachos.

Why it matters: Since the Lions aren't playing, the most important part of Super Bowl Sunday is what I'll be eating.

Details: Homemade pico de gallo is the key to this affordable recipe.

  • Grab two tomatoes, half a white onion, two jalapeños (or serranos) and a handful of cilantro. Finely dice the ingredients, then mix in the juice of a lime and some salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Spread a single layer of tortilla chips on a baking sheet and top with lots of shredded cheese, a protein of your choice (I stick to rotisserie chicken or canned beans) and black olives. Bake at 350° for about 10 minutes.
  • Serve with the pico, lime wedges, sour cream and guacamole.

Pro tip: The best part of homemade nachos is carefully topping each individual chip before baking. It's way better than all those naked nacho chips at restaurants.

  • Enjoy!

Our picks:

🏆 Joe is picking San Francisco to win the Super Bowl.

🥪 Annalise is ready to admit one of her deepest, darkest secrets: She dips her grilled cheese in ketchup.

​​👍🏼 Sam is going to keep putting Baby Osama songs here until someone responds with what they love most about her. Today's track is "only girl in the nba."

🎧 Everett's song of the day is "5 dollars" by Christine and the Queens.