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NFL announces plans for 2021 draft in Cleveland

This year’s draft will be in-person once again.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

On Monday morning, the NFL officially announced its’ plans for this year’s draft taking place in Cleveland late next month.

Unlike last year’s “home” draft, this year’s event will be back in person, establishing another level of normalcy as this entire country inches it’s way back to how things were before the pandemic. During the three-day event taking place from April 29-May 1, commissioner Roger Goodell will be back on the stage announcing this year’s picks and *hopefully dishing out some hugs and handshakes to the league’s newest stars.

According to the league’s announcement, the 86th annual draft will take place across three separate locations around downtown Cleveland. Besides the Browns’ FirstEnergy Stadium, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Great lakes Science Center will also be utilized for the week’s festivities.

“We are thrilled to be heading to Cleveland for the NFL Draft, which has become one of the most highly anticipated events in sports,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL executive vice president, club business and league events who spoke with NFL.com. “Just months after executing a safe and successful Super Bowl LV, we look forward to bringing the excitement of our Draft traditions to fans in collaboration with the Browns, Destination Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, the City of Cleveland, and all of our local Cleveland partners.”

This year, the draft will feature an “Inner Circle presented by Subway” that will include a seating venue to host select fans specifically chosen by each NFL team to act as “draft ambassadors.” Unsurprisingly, the fans selected must also be completely vaccinated.

Lastly, the NFL is planning to build off of their efforts from their Draft-A-Thon during last year’s draft. The plan will be to utilize the 2021 draft platform to raise awareness regarding “issues impacting communities most affected by the pandemic.”

The 2021 NFL Draft will be broadcasted on NFL Network, ESPN and ABC, including two nights of primetime coverage beginning on April 29.