One of the most exciting parts of the NFL season is quickly approaching. However, with all the uncertainty, one question remains: will fans be allowed to attend the 2021 NFL Draft?
Last year, the most extravagant draft in league history was planned. Las Vegas, fountains, and a floating stage were supposed to be set up to welcome the next generation of NFL stars.
Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit. With a striking contrast to the original plan, the draft ended up being conducted from commissioner Goodell’s basement.
On the surface, this sounds like a massive disappointment, and for some it definitely was. However, it did give fans some priceless moments-like Bill Belichick’s dog sitting in for him-that they would have never witnessed otherwise.
Luckily, this year the draft will be in-person. Preparations are underway in Cleveland, setting up the outdoor event which will begin in a week on the 30th, and end on May 1st.
Of course, this means that fans will be in attendance, but just how many?
50,000 Fans Expected to Attend 2021 NFL Draft Per Day
The league announced today that they will allow up to 50,000 fans in attendance in Cleveland, per day. Obviously, strict COVID protocols including mask-wearing will be enforced.
This makes the 2021 NFL Draft set to be the largest NFL event since the pandemic began. Even the Super Bowl in Tampa earlier this year only had 22,000 lucky spectators.
The NFL will allow a total of 50,000 fans per day to attend next week’s Draft in downtown Cleveland. Mask-wearing and other protocols will be strictly enforced. pic.twitter.com/GXV3pWkQrv
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) April 23, 2021
NFL expects up to 50,000 fans to attend outdoor draft events in Cleveland. Mask-wearing will be “heavily enforced,” the league says. https://t.co/Ou6VpEp43f
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 23, 2021
Peter O’Reilly, NFL Executive Vice President of Club Business & League Events, said, “We have every confidence in our protocols that are in place. We learned so much from what we did at the Super Bowl, where we were able to do a free, outdoor Super Bowl Experience”.
“We have very clear data working with our partners to show that our events did not cause any spread during the season, and we have that confidence here. Those protocols are very real and very enforced. So critical is the mask-wearing, and that will be heavily enforced throughout the draft.”