That is no longer the case now that the Browns are poised to rejoin the league’s elite teams, but the draft will once again be front and center after the NFL selected Cleveland as the host city for the 2021 NFL Draft.
The announcement was made on Wednesday at the league’s annual spring meeting. An official press conference with representatives from the Browns, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, the city of Cleveland and Destination Cleveland will take place today at 3 p.m. in Public Square and include a free tailgate event.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell promised that fans will have a “unique experience” when the draft comes to Cleveland, according to a press release from clevelandbrowns.com:
“Cleveland has a passionate fan base and the city offers distinctive iconic locations and attractions that will bring the NFL Draft experience to fans in unique and exciting ways. We look forward to collaborating with the Cleveland Browns, the City of Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Destination Cleveland to celebrate the achievements of the next generation of players and create a memorable fan experience.”
While the financial benefits of hosting an event like this are always inflated, there is no doubt that the region should see a nice financial boost from hosting the three-day event. Nashville, the host of this year’s draft, reportedly saw $132.8 million come into the city, while Dallas (2018 draft) brought in $125 million and Philadelphia (2017 draft) cashed in with $94 million, according to cleveland.com.
The 2021 NFL Draft will also coincide with the Browns celebrating their 75th anniversary season, which is a nice added touch.
It should be a fun weekend for Northeast Ohio, and the only way to make it even better would be to have quarterback Baker Mayfield, defensive end Myles Garrett and head coach Freddie Kitchens walk on stage with the Lombardi Trophy as Goodell announces that the Browns are on the clock with the 32nd pick of the first round.