BW Students Lend Their Support to the Upcoming NFL Draft

There are two important events throughout one NFL season, the Superbowl and the Draft. This event is a turning point for some teams as they look to bring in new talent for the season ahead. For the first time, the draft is coming to Cleveland. The draft dates are coming up quickly and is scheduled to take place between April 29 to May 1.

This opens up a unique opportunity for Baldwin Wallace. The students involved in the sport management program have an opportunity to work the event this year in conjunction with the NFL. The events that the students will be working are not known at this time, but that has not deterred students from volunteering. Dr. Charles Campisi, chair of the sport management program, said the program had about 50 students signed up to work the event at first, and this number has since increased to 90 volunteers and is expected to continue to grow.

There is an entire festival for the draft in Cleveland. There are events set up all over downtown including iconic locations such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and even on the shore of Lake Erie. The events in the surrounding area are free to the public as well and this is expected to bring in a lot of spectators.

Students will be helping to run a host of events, from ushering the crowd and helping with wayfinding, to working with VIPs and setting up and tearing down planned events. There will also be an NFL Pro-Am golf event in conjunction with the Draft. Students will have the opportunity to work this event and the Hall of Fame dinner where they will be able to eat with some of the NFL’s greatest players.

The excitement is high for this event. With the onset of the coronavirus last year, the sport management program was unable to participate in events they had planned to attend. Professor Anthony Dick said, “When everything got rescheduled, it ended up getting canceled. So, when you get to this draft that’s coming up, it’s our first opportunity to expose our students to an actual live event.”

This event will bring in spectators from around the country to the Cleveland area bringing revenue into the local economy. Many hotels in the area are already sold out for the weekend of April 29 – May 1 and some rooms have jumped in price to $500 a night over this weekend.

Of course, there is still the looming threat of the coronavirus to the event planned. The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission has stated on their website that the event is planned to be in person. The GCSC is working within the state and local guidelines for health and safety for an event this large.

If it is deemed unsafe to have this event held in person, that may not be the end of student involvement. When asked how students would be involved in a virtual draft, Dick said, “It’s going to be up to the league.” He added, , “If this event goes 100% virtual, we will be ready and able to do whatever they need us to do.”