CLEVELAND —The city of Cleveland will host the 2021 NFL Draft, according to a statement issued by the league's owners on Wednesday.
The 2021 season marks the 75th anniversary of the franchise.Draft events will take place around FirstEnergy Stadium.
"Cleveland has a passionate fan base and the city offers distinctive iconic locations and attractions that will bring the NFL Draft experience to fans in unique and exciting ways," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "We look forward to collaborating with the Cleveland Browns, the City of Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Destination Cleveland to celebrate the achievements of the next generation of players and create a memorable fan experience."
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said it's only fitting the draft take place in Cleveland.
"Ohio is the birthplace of professional football and the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame," DeWine said. "I applaud the NFL's decision to hold the NFL Draft in Cleveland and give the Cleveland Browns and all of Ohio the opportunity to spotlight Ohio's professional football history and passionate fans.
"In hosting the MLB All-Star Game this July, the NFL Draft in 2021, and the NBA All-Star Game in 2022, three of the country's biggest professional sports leagues have each decided to showcase all that Cleveland has to offer, and I could not agree more."
Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted echoed that sentiment.
"Cleveland is a great choice for the NFL Draft. It has some of the best NFL fans in the nation and is right up the road from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. You can see the history of the NFL and the future of the NFL all in one day."
U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) also praised the NFL’s decision to host the 2021 NFL draft in Cleveland. Brown and Portman have advocated for the NFL draft to be held in northeast Ohio.
“As the birthplace of the NFL, northeast Ohio holds a special place in football history. By bringing the draft to Cleveland, the NFL is building on that legacy as well as the momentum our city continues to enjoy," Brown said. "The city of Cleveland will provide an exciting atmosphere for the NFL to showcase their rising stars, while also shining a spotlight on northeast Ohio and the qualities and people that make our state great."
The GOP senator concurred with that assessment.
“I’m thrilled to see that the NFL has chosen Cleveland to host the 2021 NFL draft, and I was proud to advocate on behalf of the city during the selection process," Portman said. "This is great news for Northeast Ohio, which has an unprecedented football legacy and a proven ability to host major events and offers excellent economic and historical attractions."