Downtown Cleveland preparing for big NFL Draft crowds, but preparing differently due to COVID-19 precautions

Places like Noble Beast Brewing preparing for big take-out business

Downtown Cleveland preparing for big NFL Draft crowds, but preparing differently due to COVID-19 precautions
Noble Beast preparing for maximum crowds under COVID mandates but preparing pizza and canning beer for Thursday (Source: Vic Gideon)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Entertainment districts will see crowds, parking lots will see cars. Bars and restaurants will see needed customers, but capped by coronavirus precautions.

“I think in a normal year, we’d be packed to the gills, nowhere to stand,” says Noble Beast owner and brewer Shaun Yasaki.

So, Yasaki is preparing for a different kind of business at his brewery, walking distance from the draft site.

“We’re planning to do a lot of extra takeout, so we’re going to have a lot of takeout specials,” says Yasaki. “Just because we can’t handle the excess crowds in here, we’ll have people out the door wanting to grab a quick bite to eat and go back to the festivities.”

Downtown Cleveland preparing for big NFL Draft crowds, but preparing differently due to COVID-19 pre

David Gilbert, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, says reservations for the NFL Draft Experience come from all over the country, meaning big out-of-town dollars for local establishments.

“Even though it’s not what we would have seen non-COVID,” says Gilbert, who also talks about non-monetary benefits. “This event will be watched by upwards of 50 million people around the country and around the world and Cleveland’s going to come off looking incredible.”

Here’s what fans should expect during the NFL Draft Experience:

Yasaki has plenty of canned beer for those who do make it to Cleveland.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for three years,” says Yasaki.

Copyright 2021 WOIO. All rights reserved.