Posted August 17, 2021 in Press Releases

Draft watched by 40.1 million viewers and attended by 160,000 fans over three-day event

CLEVELAND - Greater Cleveland Sports Commission announced the 2021 NFL Draft which was held on April 29 – May 1, provided Northeast Ohio with $42 million in economic impact. The Draft was watched by 40.1 million viewers worldwide and attended by 160,000 fans over a three-day period.

“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 in a safe manner since the pandemic began,” 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.”

Destination International’s Events Impact Calculator which is in industry standard measurement of the economic value of an event, calculated the direct spending attributable to the 2021 NFL Draft.

The following information was provided to measure economic impact: 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, the app used by attendees to enter the NFL Draft and Fan Experience.

“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,” said 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.”

“We are extremely grateful for everyone’s efforts to create an exceptional experience for Browns and NFL fans in Cleveland and across the globe throughout the 2021 NFL Draft,” said Haslam Sports Group Chief Operating Officer Dave Jenkins. “Our partnership with the NFL and local Northeast Ohio organizations, including the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, successfully collaborated to overcome many challenges outside of our control to host an event that showcased our great region on an international stage. We are proud to continue our work with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and commend them for their ongoing commitment to bring major sporting events to our city, along with community-focused programming. We’d be delighted to help host another NFL Draft in the future.”

During the week of the Draft, 14 NFL community events were held in Northeast Ohio. These included a groundbreaking ceremony at Shaw High School as part of the Cleveland Browns football field refurbishment program, over 6,000 trees planted through NBA Green initiatives, 3,000 meals distributed to those in need and the Cleveland Power of Sport Summit which celebrated themes of diversity, equity and inclusion.


About Greater Cleveland Sports Commission: Since 2000, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission (GCSC) is responsible for attracting over 200 sporting events which provide more than $780 million in economic activity to Northeast Ohio. GCSC serves to measurably improve the economy of Greater Cleveland and enrich the community by attracting, creating, managing and enhancing significant sporting and competitive events. For more information, visit clevelandsports.org.

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