Cleveland, OH

GCSC Announces $42 million in Economic Impact from 2021 NFL Draft in Northeast Ohio

Angela Kervorkian-Wattle

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Cleveland, OH – The 2021 National Football League Draft which was held from the 29th of April to May 1st provided Northeast Ohio with $42 million in economic impact as announced by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. Over three days this draft was watched by 40.1 million viewers worldwide and attended by 160,000 fans.

“Hosting the 2021 NFL Draft was a proud moment for our determined Cleveland community especially with it being one of the first major events to allow spectators safely since the pandemic began,” said David Gilbert, President, and CEO of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Destination Cleveland. “Although the direct spending wasn’t comparable to previous host cities due to limited capacities, the impact of this event extended far beyond the dollars and showcased our city to the world.”

Calculating the direct spending attribute to the 2021 NFL Draft was done by Destination International’s Events Impact Calculator.

The STR report, a benchmarking tool that compares a city’s hotel performance against similar hotels, additional hotel data supplied by the NFL, and consumer data provided by the NFL’s One Pass App, an app used by attendees to enter the NFL Draft and Fan Experience were all the information gathered to measure the economic impact.

Not only did hosting the NFL Draft aide in changing the narrative of Cleveland, but it provided measurable impact through tree planting, community garden builds, and a football field refurbishment at a local high school,” says Gilbert. “While we may not have seen the attendance numbers of other host cities due to limited capacity, we continue to look at what we did gain – in short, hosting the Draft was an incredible win compared to what our community went through a year ago.”

14 NFL local events were held in Northeast Ohio during the week of the Draft including a groundbreaking ceremony at Shaw High School as part of the Cleveland Browns Football field refurbishment program, more than 6,000 trees planted through NBA Green initiatives, a total of 3,000 meals shared to those in need, and the Cleveland Power of Sport Summit which celebrated themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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