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2025 NFL Draft borrowing from Packers tradition with bicycle handoff from Michigan to Wisconsin


The Green Bay Packers' annual tradition is traveling a little bit farther this year -- and getting started a bit earlier.

Green Bay will officially be counting down the days until it hosts the 2025 NFL Draft starting next week with a ceremonial draft handoff, partially delivered via bicycle, from Michigan to Wisconsin set to take place on Tuesday, the Packers announced Thursday.

The ceremony will begin with a themed football arriving in Milwaukee from Detroit via the Lake Express Ferry in Muskegon, Michigan, which will then be carried north to it's final destination in Green Bay, where a countdown clock to next year's draft is set to be unveiled at the Lambeau Field Atrium.

The first-of-its-kind event lightly borrows from the Olympics and the Super Bowl customs, with a themed football taking place of a torch or trophy. How the keepsake makes its journey through a state steeped in pro football tradition will also pay homage to a longtime Packers tradition.

A special bike ride aptly named "Pedal to the Draft" will help transport the themed football to Green Bay, paying tribute to the Packers' training camp tradition in which young fans in attendance offer their bikes for players to ride from the locker room to the practice field -- a ritual that began in 1958 and continues to this day. The special journey is also set to emphasize the bikeability of Wisconsin through its trails and roadways, making brief stops at several prominent locations along the way.

"The Green Bay Packers are honored to bring the energy and excitement of the NFL draft to Wisconsin as we step up preparations to host the 2025 NFL Draft in Green Bay," said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. "Football fans from around the country and world will be making their way to Green Bay to attend the NFL draft and appreciate the history and traditions of the Packers. They'll also get to experience all that the state of Wisconsin has to offer and the Pedal To The Draft is a fun way to get us started and celebrate both."

Green Bay was selected to be the 2025 NFL Draft's host site in late May. Following Detroit's successful hosting of the 2024 NFL Draft, which saw a record-breaking 700,000-plus fans attending the event, Titletown is looking to kick things off the most appropriate way it can.

The 2025 NFL Draft is expected to draw approximately 250,000 attendees during the three-day event, which will nearly triple the population of Green Bay. It's also expected to have an economic impact of $94 million in Wisconsin, including approximately $20 million in the Green Bay area, according to the Packers.

The draft handoff is scheduled to begin with the arrival of the themed football at the Lake Express Ferry's Milwaukee location at 11:45 a.m. CT. The public is invited to attend the unveiling of the countdown clock at approximately 6:30 p.m. later in the day.

Green Bay's presentation of the 2025 NFL Draft is set for April 24-26 next year.

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