The host city of Cleveland has installed the final pieces of fencing and has set up the last of the picnic tables downtown by Wednesday evening in preparation for the NFL draft that begins Thursday. The 2021 NFL draft event will run from Thursday, Apr 29, to Saturday, May 1.
Setting up this momentous event in Cleveland was paying homage to this old football town and its active fan base. Not being able to host a Super Bowl, the NFL Draft is the next best thing, according to an avid football fan native to Cleveland. Cleveland was highly honored to host the event. The gesture made by the NFL is a token to the city. The lakefront setup sits between the FirstEnergy Stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The festive mood and the entire scene also serve as a symbol of America slowly returning to normalcy after a devastating COVID-19 pandemic.
The NFL is expecting 50,000 fans every day through the three-day event. The venue will include three different viewing areas, and the fans will be witnessing a prestigious NFL Experience. In the general downtown area, the streets, parks, sidewalk bars are expecting thousands of locals and visitors from all over the country. Local businesses have fully stocked their inventories and have maximized their outdoor dining areas to make up for the loss of income during the pandemic.
Last year, commissioner Roger Goodell had to host the NFL draft from the basement of his home. The NFL followed all the pandemic protocols and restrictions. And the commissioner’s famous chair used during the broadcast will be flown to Cleveland as a symbol of how far everyone has come.
Despite the threat of rain on Thursday’s Opening Night, everybody is determined to bring the nation’s most popular entertainment league back. The scene will look like COVID-19 has never happened. The pandemic is not over, but the party is about to begin. And the NFL is throwing a huge one in the streets of Cleveland, where dreams of a Super Bowl fuel the eternal passion of the fans towards football.