Cleveland is full speed ahead towards 2021 NFL Draft

Expected to draw more than 100,000 people

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - With the 2020 NFL Draft in the rear view mirror, North East Ohio is next in line. “Cleveland is absolutely on the clock,” said Greater Cleveland Sports Commission President David Gilbert. “While the world is crazy at the moment, we are certainly going to keep planning as though the event is going on as scheduled. A lot can and will happen over the next year, and we are going to be flexible."

The COVID-19 outbreak cancelled the draft festivities in Las Vegas, meaning Gilbert’s Cleveland contingent could not make it there for some of the ins and outs of the event, he is not concerned about something slipping through the cracks. “While we missed what would have been a great time, and we had about 30 people going, we had a lot of behind the scenes tours, a lot of meetings taking place. We’ve already done a lot of due diligence.”

Gilbert said an announcement will be made in the coming days about exactly when the event will be held, it is traditionally at the end of April. As far as location, it will be centered around the lake front.

Cleveland did take a hit when the 2020 Mid-American Conference Tournament and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was cancelled, the city was hosting one of the opening rounds of the Men’s Tournament. Those were not the only events missed out on. “We had NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championship. We lost the National Cornhole Championship,” said Gilbert. “All these events, clearly NCAA basketball being the largest, collectively lost well over $10 million in direct spending into the community.”

The NCAA has told Cleveland and other cities that lost events that they will be given high consideration for hosting future tournaments.

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