It’s official. The NFL will host the 2021 NFL Draft in person in Cleveland, Ohio from April 29 to May 1. It’ll be a ‘back to normal’ type event.
The NFL announced on Monday that the 2021 NFL Draft will resemble more of a pre-COVID type of event than the one we saw last year. There will be high profile college prospects, fans, and media in attendance during the three-day draft event from April 29 to May 1.
“We are thrilled to be heading to Cleveland for the NFL Draft, which has become one of the most highly anticipated events in sports” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL Executive Vice President, Club Business & League Events. ”Just months after executing a safe and successful Super Bowl LV, we look forward to bringing the excitement of our Draft traditions to fans in collaboration with the Browns, Destination Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, the City of Cleveland, and all of our local Cleveland partners.”
The biggest concern will obviously be how the NFL plans to keep people safe. Fans who are selected to attend the ‘Inner Circle presented by Subway’ will be required to be fully vaccinated to allowed admittance. Those fans will have front row seats to the NFL Draft.
This decision to move forward to host the 2021 NFL Draft in person has largely been driven by the vaccination rates in Ohio combined with what the NFL learned when hosting fans at Super Bowl LV in February. That data likely encouraged the NFL enough to move forward with additional in-person events this offseason.
“We are thrilled for Cleveland to host this year’s NFL Draft and celebrate the hard-working and inspiring new Draft prospects, football’s great history, and our fans. It is even more special as we commemorate our 75th anniversary and have the opportunity to showcase the wonderful city of Cleveland to an international audience and to a responsible number of fans and visitors during the weekend,” said Dee and Jimmy Haslam, managing and principal partners of the Cleveland Browns. “We greatly appreciate the continued collaboration by the NFL, local and state government officials and medical experts who are all focused on creating a memorable and safe experience and we are also extremely encouraged by the state of Ohio’s vaccination rates and advancements that are allowing us to make the progress needed to return to a safe and more normal environment.”
In the NFL’s announcement, they also assured the public that they would continue to work with public officials at both the state and local levels to ensure a safe event. They will be requiring face coverings and proper social distancing throughout the NFL Draft.
What do you think of this decision by the NFL to host this years’ draft in person?