With the site of the 2020 NFL Draft already confirmed as Las Vegas late last year, the NFL has now confirmed the venues for the 2021 and 2023 drafts after a vote held during a league meeting in Florida on Wednesday.
Disturbingly for Pittsburgh Steelers fans, Cleveland has been announced as the host of 2021 NFL Draft, with Kansas City named as the site in 2023. As per a report from Kevin Seifert of ESPN, the league has yet to make a final decision on a number of bids for 2022, with around 20 cities apparently interested in hosting the event.
Expected to be held at downtown locations around FirstEnergy Stadium and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, as well as around shores of Lake Erie, the 2021 draft will also coincide with the Browns’ 75th anniversary. Pittsburgh fans should expect the event to be an unpleasant celebration of all things Cleveland related, with the Steelers selections sure to be jeered by the home crowd. However, given the close proximity of the host city, it is imagined that several Pittsburgh fans will be in attendance to help dilute the negativity.
When speaking to the media about the announcement, Roger Goodell sounded like a man who had never visited Cleveland in person. As reported by Seifert.
“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. 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.”
Kansas City officials have suggested they will hold the 2023 draft near Union Station and the National World War I Museum and Memorial.