The NFL Draft will be coming closer to Pittsburgh than it has in over 70 years, though Steelers fans may not exactly be welcomed guests.
Cleveland will host the 2021 NFL Draft, according to a report by Jordan Zirm of Uproxx on Tuesday that was later confirmed by Cleveland city councilman Matt Zone.
It will be the first time the Browns have hosted the draft, despite being a member of the league since 1950.
The NFL Draft has traditionally been held in New York, where it was held for 57 straight years from 1965 to 2014 and numerous times before that.
But since then, the league has made an effort to move the draft around the country. The 2015 and 2016 drafts were held in Chicago before it went to Philadelphia in 2017, Dallas in 2018 and Nashville in 2019. The 2020 NFL Draft will be held in Las Vegas.
At just 115 miles and a little over two hours by car, Cleveland will represent the closest the draft has come to Pittsburgh fans in quite some time. But Pittsburgh has hosted the draft before. The 1948 NFL Draft was held at the Fort Pitt Hotel on Penn Avenue downtown, and the 1949 NFL Draft was split between Philadelphia and Hotel Schenley, now the William Pitt Union on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.
Back then, the draft was not much of a fan event and was typically held in hotel ballrooms. But particularly since the NFL decided to move the event around, it has become a prime tourism driver. In April, Nashville police estimated a crowd of over 100,000 packed into Lower Broadway for the first round on April 26.