CLEVELAND — The eyes of the sports world will soon be focused on Cleveland, Ohio; from April 29-May 1, Cleveland is scheduled to host the 2021 NFL Draft.
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Despite concerns regarding the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic -- which forced last year's draft to be held remotely instead of in Las Vegas Nevada, as was originally planned -- the NFL has insisted that this year's draft in Cleveland will take place as scheduled.
Asked about Ohio's second-largest city hosting an event that typically attracts thousands of out-of-town visitors, Governor Mike DeWine said that his office has begun the process of working with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam on protocols.
"We've been working with the Browns. I talked to Jimmy Haslam over the weekend about this," DeWine said during a press briefing at Xavier University on Thursday. "He texted me either yesterday or the day before and said, 'OK, who do I work with on your team?' And I gave him my Chief of Staff and our health director. I said, 'Here's the phone number. You guys should be talking directly.'
"We're very much aware of it. We're very much aware of the date. We know the importance of this event is looked forward to by fans from all over the country and every team, so we're working closely with them."
Last fall, Cleveland Sports Commission CEO David Gilbert told 3News last fall that Cleveland was moving forward with plans to host a "socially distanced" NFL Draft.
"Right now it's full steam ahead planning for a large live event in Cleveland. It's being promoted nationally," Gilbert told 3News in October. "It's not going to be elbow to elbow, certainly, the way it was in Nashville."
You can watch DeWine's full press briefing from Thursday in the video player below: