After getting rejected two times previously, it seems as though Cleveland and the Browns finally got their wish: The NFL Draft is headed to Northeast Ohio in 2021, per Uproxx writer and The The ThomaHawk Show podcast producer Jordan Zirm.
Source: Cleveland has been awarded the 2021 NFL Draft
— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) May 21, 2019
With the NFL’s owners meeting in Key Biscayne, Florida for spring meetings on Tuesday, a decision on Cleveland’s fate for the location of the 2021 NFL Draft was expected sooner rather than later. Competing with other cities across the country, The Land was expected to finally hear some good news in terms of the NFL Draft this time around.
Cleveland and Canton tried for a joint bid — submitted by the Browns, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and the Pro Football Hall of Fame — in both 2019 and 2020, but the NFL decided to have this past April’s draft in Nashville and the 2020 draft in Las Vegas. Many believe that the joint bid was just too tough to pick for the NFL simply because they have never had a draft in two separate cities at the same time, even if those cities are only 60 miles apart. The logistics of having the first three Rounds 1-3 in Cleveland and 4-7 in Canton were too tough to figure out.
Keep in mind, hundreds of thousands of NFL fans attend the draft from across the country. It’s easy for Northeast Ohioans to say that traveling from Cleveland to Canton is easy, but keep non-Clevelanders in mind in terms of travel, hospitality, hotels, etc. The joint bid seemed to just be too tough. That seems to be the reason Cleveland made its own bid after the joint one was rejected twice previously.
If Cleveland is in fact awarded the 2021 NFL Draft, the city will have quite a busy schedule the next few years. Not only will the NFL Draft be coming to Northeast Ohio, but the city is set to host the upcoming 2019 MLB All-Star Game on July 9, 2022 NBA All-Star Game, and 2024 Women’s NCAA Basketball Final Four. Not a bad next five years for Cleveland and it’s economy and popularity. According to Crain’s Cleveland Business’ Kevin Kleps, the four big-time events are projected to bring in $285 million or more to the Cleveland economy. The NFL Draft alone is expected to bring in between $100-125 million.
The NFL Draft, along with the other big-time events coming to Cleveland is not only exciting for all sports fans but will bring plenty of money and tourists to the city as well. Sounds like a win-win for Northeast Ohio.