NFL Draft In Cleveland Expected To Provide Boost To Northeast Ohio Economy

Cleveland is set to host the 2021 NFL Draft from April 29, 2021, to May 1, 2021. [Ryan Grzybowski/Shutterstock]
Cleveland is set to host the 2021 NFL Draft from April 29, 2021, to May 1, 2021. [Ryan Grzybowski/Shutterstock]
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Cleveland will be center stage as host city for the 2021 National Football League Draft.  The draft will be held from April 29 through May 1.

The  three day event where the league's teams select new players from the college ranks will be broadcast on ESPN.  The first round of the draft begins tomorrow night in primetime.  The draft will be held at a newly built, temporary theater constructed at  Cleveland's North Coast Harbor with Lake Erie as a backdrop.

But the event is must larger than just sports or football.  The draft will also draw spectators to the city and provide a must needed boost to the region's entertainment, restaurant and hospitality sectors hard hit by the pandemic and coronavirus mitigation efforts.

The draft being held in Cleveland marks another potential turning point in this pandemic as we seek to get back to some sense of normalcy after more than a year of disruptions and cancelations.

All throughout this pandemic there has been an economic component to the effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  At the start of the pandemic, businesses were mostly shuttered and then as parts of the economy slowly reopened we have had to adjust to ongoing measures such as masking and social distancing.

The parts of the economy that rely on the ability of people to gather together in social situations have been among the hardest hit during this pandemic.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, Team NEO, a private, non profit economic development organization has been tracking the impact to businesses and workers.

In its latest report, Team NEO is projecting job growth and recovery as we look toward the possible end of the pandemic.  While the report predicts GDP to recover for the region by the end of 2021, the recovery on jobs is expected to be slower.

A bill under consideration in the Ohio House would set a training baseline for districts who want to arm their teachers as part of a security plan.  The bill would set the baseline at 8 hours of training, the same amount required to earn a concealed carry permit.  The bill, House Bill 99, would also give local districts the authority to require additional training beyond those initial eight hours.

The bill is fostering a debate on how best to keep students safe while at school.

Recognizing artists of color face barriers in the art world, the Equity In Art series seeks to amplify their work. Upon review, a segment about the series within this show did not meet the stated objectives of the project and was therefore removed.  We commit to doing better in the future.


David Gilbert, President & CEO, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Destination Cleveland 
Jacob Duritsky, Vice President, Strategy & Research, Team NEO 
Andy Chow, Reporter, Statehouse News Bureau, Ohio Public Radio/TV  


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