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NFL Draft major success for Cleveland

NFL Draft
Posted at 10:12 AM, May 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-02 23:25:10-04

CLEVELAND — The NFL Draft drew visitors from all over the country who brought energy, excitement, and business into Downtown Cleveland.

President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission David Gilbert said night one of this year's draft broadcast had the second-highest viewing audience, with last year's night one topping the list.

The draft helped Cleveland to shine in the national spotlight again.

"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."

The event's final numbers for visitors and estimated economic impact are still being calculated.

But Gilbert and his team estimate tens of thousands of out-of-towners came to Cleveland for the draft, including planners for the city's next big event.

"We had a whole crew in from the NBA here the last couple of days. And they came to see how a lot of things were being done because they're going to take ideas from it," Gilbert said.

Cleveland has a lot to look forward to in the next few years.

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.