CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - When the NFL Draft kicked off in Cleveland on Thursday, it marked the first major event downtown in more than a year.
It’s estimated that approximately 50,000 people a day will visit Cleveland’s Downtown because of the draft. While seats at the main event are limited, football fans had plenty to cheer about at the draft watch parties.
As expected, the number one draft pick was Trevor Lawrence, who was selected by the Jaguars.
And people gathered on Playhouse Square at a draft watch party were thrilled to see the event just down the road being broadcast on national television.
For Cleveland, the NFL Draft is a touchdown. The city shining bright in the national spotlight as the draft kicked off downtown near the Cleveland Browns’ home turf.
It’s a major shot in the arm after a year of COVID restrictions that temporarily sidelined sports. Jameel Blue was super excited the draft is in his hometown, “It’s definitely a bounce back from what we went through last year. Glad to see the city back and moving right.”
Browns fan Sean Jones is pumped to see who will be added to the Cleveland Roster after the Browns scored an unforgettable year on the field, “You know what? I think we need more defense. We definitely need some more receivers. I think we’re cool with quarterback for now. Whoever we get I’m satisfied.”
Broncos fan Connor Adams of Pennsylvania is looking to the future when it comes to a draft pick for his favorite team, “I hope it goes like everyone says with a lot of quarterbacks going early.” Meanwhile, Bengals fans from Cincinnati and Columbus admit they’re happy to be in Browns’ country, just this once. They say even the rain couldn’t put a damper on the experience of a lifetime, “It’s a great thing for Ohio. It showcases us to the Nation, and you know like anyone this is my first real experience in Cleveland. I hope everyone’s had as nice of an experience as I’ve had.”
Two other sponsored draft watch parties were held near the NFL Draft site at Mall C and in the Flats.