CANTON, Ohio -- "With the first pick in the NFL Draft..." Those words could soon be resonating from the steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the cradle of professional football.
"Oh, I think that would be awesome," said Ron Regas of Hartville.
“Football fans here are passionate so yeah, it's a perfect place for it," said Kevin Layer of North Olmsted.
“It is the home of the Hall of Fame so it makes sense to have a draft down here. It would be awesome for the city; that's for sure," said Jason Burkett of Akron.
David Baker, the president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, shared details with FOX 8 on their pitch to the NFL about why Cleveland-Canton would be a great host site for the Draft.
“We're going to start the next century, the future, by sharing the past that the league was built upon," said Baker.
Canton hosts the Hall of Fame game every year but the state of Ohio has never hosted an NFL draft.
“We talked to the Browns about sharing the draft. The call center might be here, whereas the celebration center might be up there on Thursday and Friday nights and then we might switch it so that Saturday the fan fest and celebration would be here," Baker said.
2020 would be the ideal year for Northeast Ohio to host the draft; the Hall of Fame Village would be complete and 2020 would be the 100th birthday of the NFL.
“Northeast Ohio is where the game began; those 14 original teams met right here in Canton on September 17, 1920," Baker added.
The NFL will announce its decision in May. The draft would generate $95 million into the local economy.