CLEVELAND — Cleveland undoubtedly put on a show this past weekend for the 2021 NFL Draft.
It’s no secret people like football, and now it’s definitely known that people also love Cleveland — including Clevelanders.
According to the NFL, the 2021 draft was seen by an average of 6.1 million viewers on both TV and digital across NFL Network, ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and digital channels during the three-day event, making it the third most-watched draft ever.
Cleveland topped all markets for viewing. Cleveland averaged a 10.9 HH (households) rating, which was the highest-rated local market for 2021 and the highest host city draft rating on record since different cities began hosting the event in 2015, the NFL said.
The three most-watched drafts in history have happened in the last three years; in 2019 when it was hosted in Nashville with 6.2 million viewers, in 2020 when it went virtual with 8.3 million viewers, and in 2021 when it was in Cleveland.
The 2022 NFL Draft will be hosted by Las Vegas from April 28-30.
While the event's final numbers for visitors and estimated economic impact are still being calculated, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission David Gilbert called the event a major success.
"It just gave hope to so many people with tens and tens and tens of thousands of people who are there and being feeling normal for the first time," Gilbert said. "In many ways, I think that's how this event helped make the nation feel. And it came from here. And it's a really good feeling."
On top of next year's NBA All-Star Game, the city is also set to host the 2024 NCAA Women's Final Four and the Division One Wrestling Championships in 2026.
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