The 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland is officially on! Earlier today, the NFL released renderings of the lakefront draft stage and its position in relation to the rest of Downtown Cleveland and First Energy Stadium. The three-day draft will take place from April 29-May 1.
You can click on each of the photos below to enlarge them, but the main stage will be located between FirstEnergy Stadium and the Great Lakes Science Center, with Lake Erie in the background. The stage will also be aligned with Cleveland’s Mall A, B, and C, where the final stop of the Cavaliers’ 2016 parade was set up.
Here are some of the other details we learned today about the event:
- There were be an “Inner Circle” of fans chosen by each of the 32 teams. These fans will have a front row seat to the NFL Draft Main Stage. However, fans selected for this group must be fully vaccinated.
- Headlining acts will perform each day on the Main Stage, inspired by being next to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- The NFL Draft Experience will be the event that is free and open to the public, and will take place inside FirstEnergy Stadium during all three days. To manage capacity, fans will be required to make reservations through the NFL OnePass app, which will be available to download the week of March 29.
- Part of the Fan Experience will allow fans to be able to go on the field at FirstEnergy Stadium and kick a field goal, take personalized digital photos, run the 40-yard dash and vertical jump against players on LED screens, see a Super Bowl ring on display, and take pictures with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
- Masks and social distancing will be enforced at all events.
- The Great Lakes Science Center will become a media hub, and will be closed to the public April 12-May 14. The Huntington Convention Center will be the credentialing location for the draft, accounting for roughly 6,000 reporters, production employees and others who will be working the draft.
Although the economic impact will still be limited compared to what it could have been, the city and the NFL are still making the best of things.