Earlier in August, it was revealed that the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in conjunction with the Cleveland Browns and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission would be putting in an official bid at some point in the future to host the NFL Draft in either or both 2019 and 2020.
On Thursday, the group made it official.
The Browns’ official website broke the news that the formal proposal was delivered to the NFL last week. The goal is to highlight the league’s 100-year celebration, which includes the 100th season in 2019 or its 100 years in Canton, Ohio in 2020.
In the statement, Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam said,
“Since even before the establishment of the NFL nearly 100 years ago and the legacies of household names like Jim Brown, Paul Brown, Otto Graham and Lou Groza, Northeast Ohio has been rooted in football and NFL history and has been dedicated to developing the sport we love at all levels of competition. With the support of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Cleveland and Canton are the ideal sites for the NFL Draft due to our region’s unmatched passion and respect for football, as well as our commitment to its future and the next generation of Hall of Fame players.”
Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker added, “The Hall of Fame is privileged to join the Cleveland Browns along with the leadership in Cleveland, Canton and throughout the region to create a draft experience unlike any other.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who was in Cleveland to attend a Browns fan forum at the team’s training camp, believes that Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame and the greater Cleveland area would be an ideal setting for the draft.
But as the Associated Press’ Tom Withers also notes above, there are 24 cities in total who are currently in the running as locations for future drafts. There’s no doubt that the league’s centennial would be coveted by many, though few are as thoroughly fitting as Canton, Cleveland and the Hall of Fame.
Meanwhile the site of the 2018 NFL Draft, scheduled for April 26 through the 28, still has yet to be announced. In 2017, it was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and, in 2015 and 2016, in Chicago, Illinois.
UPDATE: Here is another clip of Dee Haslam discussing the draft, followed by Goodell adding some extra commentary on the subject matter before leaving Berea: