(Cleveland) - We're just a few weeks away from the NFL Draft on the lakefront in Downtown Cleveland, and construction is now underway on the 90-foot-tall stage from where the top college football players in the country will learn which of the 32 NFL teams will have selected them to join their roster.
Mike Mulhall of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission says planning the event, due to the pandemic, was really hard to do. "Doing the planning for an event of this magnitude over Zoom, and using Google Earth and things like that, normally when you have an event like this, the people planning it would come to Cleveland over and over, to walk the site and better understand it," said Mulhall.
The stage is north of FirstEnergy Stadium, on a site where the Port of Cleveland had warehouses that were torn down. The NFL Draft Experience, which will be on sites near FirstEnergy Stadium, the Great Lakes Science Center, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, will also be erected. Fans will have free access to the NFL Draft Experience by getting timed tickets that they can sign up for now, online. Access to the stage area will be for invited fans who are vaccinated for COVID-19.
According to Mulhall, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission raised almost $5 million to put on the Draft, with the NFL and others coming up with the rest. He says the economic impact to Cleveland has yet to be determined, in part because the numbers of fans that can attend will be in the tens of thousands, rather than over a hundred thousand that could have been here if there hadn't been a pandemic.
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