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Cleveland, Canton passed over for 2020 NFL Draft

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CLEVELAND-- The combined bid of Cleveland and Canton was passed over again for the NFL Draft.

The league announced on Wednesday that Las Vegas will host the big night in 2020.

The Northeast Ohio cities were also in the running for the 2018 and 2019 drafts, but those campaigns were unsuccessful. The push was part of a partnership between the Cleveland Browns, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

"Congratulations to Las Vegas and we are certain the city will produce a wonderful draft to be enjoyed by all football fans. The Pro Football Hall of Fame looks forward to complementing the draft every year with special content from Canton," the hall of fame said in a statement.

"Meanwhile, the Hall, the city of Canton, and all of northeast Ohio continue to focus on a spectacular centennial celebration of the founding of the NFL that will take place in 2020."

The Browns also responded to the selection in the following statement:

"We remain committed to hosting an NFL Draft in Northeast Ohio and will continue to work closely with the NFL to identify the ideal opportunity for our fans, our city and the league. There are many teams and cities across the NFL who are capable of creating an exceptional draft experience for fans, including the Titans and Raiders, and we are still hopeful we may ultimately share that honor in the future."

The year 2020 will mark the 100th birthday of the NFL, which got its start with 14 teams in Canton.

Meanwhile, Canton business owners said they were excited at the prospect and already thinking of ways to celebrate Draft Day.

Michael Nasvadi, who’s been an integral part of downtown development in Canton and owner of Cultured Coffee & Waffles said, “It’s a minor setback, I imagine it’s gonna be here at some point, it wouldn’t even make sense not to have it here.”

Football fans in Canton were also disappointed but optimistic.

“You gotta count the little guy in too, I mean we might not be Las Vegas, but Canton is a wonderful place too,” said Chambers Stokes Williams,

Some people suggested that construction delays at the Hall of Fame on a massive entertainment complex, that’s been described as “Disneyland for football fans” might have been a factor, but it is supposed to be completed by 2020 in time for the centennial celebration.

Everyone is remaining hopeful that eventually it will come to northeast Ohio.

The draft was held in New York City from 1965 to 2014, but the league has been moving it to different cities in recent years.

Chicago was the site in 2015 and 2016, Philadelphia hosted in 2017, Arlington hosted in 2018 and Nashville will host in 2019.

Continuing coverage of this story here

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