NFL Draft: Record 275,000 fans swarm downtown Detroit to witness first round

Detroit is hyped for the NFL Draft.

The NFL announced that more than 275,000 fans showed up to attend Thursday's first round of the draft, smashing the attendance record for the event. The previous record saw 200,000-plus fans show up to the 2018 draft in Nashville, Tennessee.

In case you're wondering, here's what 275,000-plus fans looks like:

Here's what they look like up close via a drone flyby:

What exactly were all those fans doing? It's hard to say. A few of them had a decent a view of the stage. But the vast majority of these football faithful did not. Even the ones who did bore witness to names being read off cards and people walking across a stage to hug Roger Goodell.

Thus is the drawing power of the NFL, which was magnified Thursday by a Detroit fanbase in the midst of the most promising era of most fans' lifetimes. The Lions are fresh off a trip to the NFC championship game, the team's deepest run since Barry Sanders led them to the conference title game against Washington in 1991.

Football fans swarmed downtown Detroit Thursday night. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Football fans swarmed downtown Detroit Thursday night. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Detroit's previous Super Bowl-era visit to the conference championship was never. In the interim, the Lions made a grand total of eight playoff appearances in 31 years, none of which produced a victory.

So, yeah. Detroit's stoked. And even though the Lions weren't scheduled to pick until No. 29 on Thursday, fans showed out in force to celebrate football in their city.

The NFL knew what it was doing when it picked the Motor City to host this weekend.