On Wednesday, the NFL announced that Cleveland, Ohio will host the 2021 NFL Draft. Cleveland will be just the 11th team to ever hold the NFL Draft since 1936, following Las Vegas, Nevada hosting the 2020 edition.
The NFL Draft was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York from 1965-2014 before the league decided to shake things up a bit. Since then, it’s been held in Chicago (twice), Philadelphia, Dallas, and finally, Nashville for the 2019 draft.
Cleveland is home to one of the most rabid fanbases in football. Notoriously dubbed the “Dawg Pound,” they have plenty to cheer for over the next few seasons. The Browns are one of the most improved teams this offseason and expected by many to win their first division title since 1989.
Not only is this a major milestone for the Browns and their fans, but this is also incredible news for the city of Cleveland. When Dallas hosted the event in 2018, they brought in over 200,000 fans during the three-day draft weekend. The NFL also reported that holding the draft in Dallas generated over $125 million for the city. Go back another year to 2017 in Philadelphia and the event generated nearly $95 million in economic impact.
Combined with an improving Cleveland economy, the 2021 NFL Draft will be a monumental event in the city’s history. Local small businesses, specifically restaurants and bars, will receive a huge benefit from the 100,000-plus fans that come to the city.
After decades of failure, fans won’t complain about having to wait until the end of the first round to see their team’s pick right there in the city. Of course, it will probably be hard to follow up whatever happens next year in Las Vegas. Still, it’s an exciting time to be a Browns fan in Cleveland right now as everything seems to be moving in the right direction.