MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin lawmakers voted Thursday to approve spending $2 million to help stage the 2025 NFL draft in Green Bay.
The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted along party lines to include the funding in the two-year state budget it is drafting. The budget will need to be approved by the full Legislature, likely to happen later this month or early in July, and signed by Gov. Tony Evers before taking effect.
The three-day 2025 NFL draft will take place in and around Lambeau Field, home to the Green Bay Packers. The Green Bay Chamber of Commerce estimates that the event could attract 240,000 people to the state, generating an estimated $20 million for Green Bay and $94 million for the state.
Green Bay-area lawmakers, Republican Sen. Rob Cowles and GOP Rep. David Steffen asked for the funding.
The committee also voted to increase funding for tourism marketing by $20 million and create a new $10 million fund that can be tapped to attract major events to the state. Lawmakers also approved sending $10 million in one-time tourism funding to Milwaukee, which is hosting the Republican National Convention next summer.
All Republicans voted in favor of the package of funding for tourism, while all Democrats were against.