CANTON — Northeast Ohio will have to wait until at least 2020 to host an NFL Draft.
The NFL on Wednesday announced next year's draft will be in Nashville, which ESPN reported earlier this month.
No announcement was made about where the 2020 draft will be held, despite the fact that league officials had said the location of both the 2019 and 2020 drafts would be decided during the league's spring meeting. A spokeswoman for the league on Wednesday morning said there is no timetable for future announcements.
Cleveland and Canton, along with three other cities, remain in the running to host in 2020.
After Nashville on Wednesday officially was awarded the draft, Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker in an emailed statement congratulated the city and the Tennessee Titans, saying the event will be "a great fan celebration."
"The Hall of Fame in partnership with the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Sports Commission and Visit Canton stand ready to host the NFL Draft in 2020 should we be selected," the statement read. "In the meantime, the Hall and the entire Canton region remains focused on preparing for the once-in-every-other-lifetime opportunity in 2020 to celebrate the NFL’s Centennial in Canton, the birthplace of the league."
A joint bid by Cleveland and Canton was named a finalist for either the 2019 or the 2020 NFL Draft, competing against Nashville, Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas.
Northeast Ohio's application was a partnership among the Hall, Visit Canton, the Cleveland Browns and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. The bid has not been released to the public, but details shared by those involved were that Canton only would host the final day of the event and a possible dinner before the first day of the draft.
Facilities proposed for the draft included Public Auditorium in Cleveland — near the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland — and Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, the youth fields, and the Hall's bust gallery in Canton.
Canton had its draft site visit at the end of March, and Cleveland had two visits, including one during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
During Canton's visit, a few hundred people crowded onto the field at Benson Stadium to greet NFL representatives and chant "bring it home" in the rain.
In contrast, the NFL was in Nashville less than a week later for the unveiling of the Tennessee Titans' new uniforms when 20,000 people flooded the streets of Music City in 40-degree weather for a free Florida Georgia Line concert held as part of the event.
The Tennessean on Wednesday reported the facilities Nashville will use for the draft aren't definite yet but might include the city's convention center, the parking lot for Nissan Stadium, and a riverfront amphitheater.
"Following an exciting and successful event in Dallas, we're thrilled to take the NFL Draft to Nashville," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a news release. "The city has a passionate fan base and offers iconic locations that will enable us to expand the Draft in unique ways. We look forward to working with the Tennessee Titans, the City of Nashville, and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp to deliver a memorable celebration of football to our fans and incoming players."
Losing the 2019 NFL Draft means Canton's option now is to hold a day of the 2020 draft in a year that already has some other major events planned for the birthplace of football.
Canton always hosts the annual enshrinement festival in August, and it's expected the city also will hold a days-long centennial celebration around Sept. 17, 2020, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the league's origins in downtown Canton. Both would require the aid of thousands of volunteers and an upfront commitment of millions of dollars from the surrounding community.
Baker originally said he would prefer to host the 2019 draft as a kickoff to the NFL's 100th season, since Canton already is planning to throw the NFL a birthday party in 2020.
It's not clear how strong Northeast Ohio's chances of landing the 2020 draft are compared to the other cities.
Reports from Denver news outlets on Wednesday said Denver is not a good candidate to receive the 2020 draft because of scheduling conflicts and lack of available hotel rooms.
Las Vegas is though to have a shot at 2020 because the Raiders will have relocated. The new $1.9-billion stadium being built for the team is slated to finish a few months later, in the summer of 2020.