Earlier today, the Rock Hall
held a press conference to celebrate its mission to “engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock 'n' roll.”
Speakers included Rock Hall president and CEO Greg Harris, Mayor Frank Jackson, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Destination Cleveland's Colette Jones.
Harris started the presentation by talking about how the press conference wasn’t just "about the dollars."
“This is about how we engage with the community,” he said as he mentioned various Rock Hall improvements that would be completed by the time of the Inductions and added that even the pothole-filled streets in front of the Rock Hall will be fixed.
Harris pointed out that the Inductions will involve an entire week of festivities (dubbed Induction Week) and then cited the fact that some 300,000 students have attended the Rock Hall.
“We underwrite the busses to bring the kids here; that’s how committed we are,” he said prior to introducing Mayor Frank Jackson, whom he said helped bring the Inductions back to Cleveland in 2009 and then again in 2012 and 2015.
Jackson thanked the museum for the work it does with the schools and school children as well as for the image of the city.
“No matter where I go, one of the things people know about Cleveland is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” he said. “When we talked to the people in New York about doing the Inductions, we told them wanted to do the Inductions in a Cleveland way. In New York, it’s a one-day event. We wanted to make it a week-long event. In Cleveland, it’s the centerpiece of Cleveland for an entire week.”
Budish then took the microphone and thanked Harris and the board for bringing “such great success” to the Rock Hall. He said the economic development of Northeast Ohio has been a priority since 2011.
“We want tourism and conventions to be a significant business for Northeast Ohio,” he said, citing the Hilton hotel and the convention center as investments. "I'm especially excited the Induction ceremonies will be coming here every other year, and now we need to figure out how to get them here every year."
Destination Cleveland's Colette Jones also talked about the theme of "grit" that's currently part of Destination Cleveland's pitch to tourism groups and said the Rock Hall was even on many people's bucket lists.
At the press conference's conclusion, Harris unloaded some statistics (courtesy of an Oxford Economics study) and said that 80 percent of visitors who come from out of town go to the Rock Hall and contribute $127 million in direct spending. He estimated the Inductions would be responsible for $16 million in direct spending.