The Browns on Thursday announced that they partnered with the Pro Football HOF and Greater Cleveland Sports Commission to "submit an application" to host the NFL Draft in"two or three years," according to a front-page piece by Nate Ulrich of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell visited Browns HQ on Thursday for a forum with about 100 season-ticket holders and "spoke as if Northeast Ohio will be chosen to host an upcoming draft." Goodell said, "This area being the birthplace of pro football ... I think this would be a great community." He added, "Walking out in Philadelphia (this past April) and seeing close to 100,000 people out there, it was remarkable. So you guys are going to have to top that number." Ulrich noted a Draft in Northeast Ohio would "celebrate the NFL's 100th season" in '19 or the league's centennial in '20. Canton's football history coupled with the HOF undergoing a $700M expansion to its campus "appeals to the league." The project is "scheduled to be completed" in '20. Goodell on the development of Johnson Controls HOF Village said, "It'd be a big part of it. You know our 100th anniversary and the connection between all that, I think it would be a real positive effect" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 8/17).
THRILLING PROPOSITION: In Cleveland, Mary Kay Cabot notes Browns Owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam "answered questions with Goodell during the forum" and "feel optimistic" about their chances to host the NFL Draft. Jimmy Haslam said, "We're really excited and we think we've got a good shot." (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/18). In Canton, Steve Doerschuk in a front-page piece writes it is "unclear which city would host which days" of the three-day Draft. Jimmy Haslam was in Canton during HOF weekend earlier this month and said that the relationship between the Browns and the HOF "was strong." Meanwhile, Jimmy Haslam has joined the HOF's BOT. Doerschuk notes how logistics would take shape in terms of "divvying up draft events between Canton and Cleveland gets complicated." Dee Haslam said that "no decisions have been made as to where draft events might be held." The new Tom Benson HOF Stadium is an "obvious candidate" for the actual Draft. Benson Stadium "offers a permanent stage built into the middle of the north stands" (Canton REPOSITORY, 8/18).
UNDER THE FLORIDA SUN: Jaguars President Mark Lamping on Thursday said that the organization has "filed an expression of interest" with the NFL to host a Draft between '19-23. In Jacksonville, Ryan O'Halloran in a front-page piece notes the Jaguars would "utilize both the EverBank Field playing surface," nearby indoor amphitheater Daily's Place (opened in late May) and the indoor practice facility completed last week. Lamping "expects 'most NFL teams' to file an expression of interest in hosting the draft." Lamping said that Daily's Place would be "home to the main stage where Goodell would meet the draft picks." He added that Daily's Place would "hold 6,000 fans for the draft, another 15,000 could watch from the EverBank Field playing surface and the indoor practice facility can hold 10,000 fans" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 8/18).