2016 in NEO: A Recap of a Remarkable Year

It is no secret that there has been a tremendous buzz about Cleveland in 2016. So many incredible events and milestones came to Cleveland this year, and we won’t forget it! Here’s a recap of some of the awesomeness that befell Cleveland in 2016:



A Centennial Celebration

Three Northeast Ohio staples celebrated their 100 year anniversaries this year, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Cultural Gardens and Cleveland Playhouse. .  These world-renowned institutions are just a few examples of what makes our great region shine.

To read more about this year’s centennial celebrations, check out this blog from Kevin Goodman.

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016. This string of 29, and growing, unique nationality gardens on over 200 acres along MLK Blvd. is dedicated to peace and understanding through each nationality sharing its achievements and contributions to the betterment of society.

“As the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York, the not-for-profit performing arts center utilizes the arts to engage individuals and attract more than one million guests per year to its 1,000+ annual events.”
Playhouse Square.org

Cleveland Knows How to Play Ball

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 3.03.33 PM
Photo Credit: @cavs Instagram

It is no secret that 2016 was an unexpected, much needed, incredible sports year for Cleveland. 2016 was the year that Cleveland achieved its comeback and the Cleveland Curse was officially broken. While the Indians didn’t bring home the championship, their improbable playoff run gave us much hope for next season and solidified the fact that Cleveland is on FIRE.

View from the Team NEO Office During the Cavs’ Championship Parade


To further illustrate this point, on June 22, 2016, over 1 million people lined the streets to celebrate the Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship run. The parade served as a great warm up for the Republican National Convention, which would descend on downtown Cleveland just a few weeks later.

Want to relive the exciting moments of the Cavs championship? Read here.

Speaking of sports, we can’t leave out the success of the 2016 Cleveland Indians who won the pennant and were just one game away from winning the World Series. We can’t wait to see how the team does next year. 

The Republican National Convention

Cleveland Aerial

From June to July, the spotlight continued to shine on the region. Cleveland was chosen to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, and as soon as it was announced, everyone started preparing.

RNC by the Numbers:

  • 50,000 – Estimated number of visitors to Northeast Ohio during the RNC

  • 16,700 – Number of hotel rooms included in the official hotel block for the RNC

  • 15,000 – Estimated number of credentialed media members that covered the convention

  • 100+ – The number of NEO hotels in the RNC hotel block, with Kalahari in Sandusky being the furthest from Downtown

Cleveland Hustles

CNBC’s Cleveland Hustles combines a few aspects that Northeast Ohioans absolutely love: small businesses, supporting local entrepreneurs, and Lebron James. The new CNBC show, “Cleveland Hustles,” features the trendy Detroit Shoreway neighborhood and stars Akron-area superstar, Lebron James. The show offers another platform for Northeast Ohio to show the world everything we’ve got, and everyone involved is taking advantage of the opportunity.


READ ALSO: CNBC’s ‘Cleveland Hustles’ Showcases Northeast Ohio on the Small Screen

In The National News

Northeast Ohio residents certainly had much to celebrate in 2016, what’s even better is that the rest of the nation was celebrating us, too. Below are some of our favorite national news stories that feature our remarkable region.

1. Forbes: “Why Cleveland Is America’s Hottest City Right Now

At the end of October, Forbes published an article titled: “Why Cleveland Is America’s Hottest City Right Now”. While the city has attracted a great deal of attention thanks to the extraordinary performances by the Cavaliers and Indians, the article notes that Cleveland’s winning streak extends beyond its sports teams and has been in the making for years.

“This gritty, ‘underdog’ city is now home to six James Beard award-winning chef-inspired restaurants, a thriving bar, arts, and music scene, and biomedical and “smart” manufacturing start-ups that are quickly luring America’s youngest and brightest away from Boston, Austin, and Silicon Valley.”

2. ABC News: “LeBron, Gilbert spark Cleveland renaissance”

As this story from ABC News explains, Cleveland is experiencing a renaissance, spurred in large part by the city’s winning sports teams and world-class chefs. The article writes this about the city’s ongoing resurgence:

“For those who haven’t been in downtown Cleveland in a while, the question will invariably come up: How did this happen?
It’s a complicated answer, as is every related to how urban renewal manages to succeed. But in Cleveland, the answer includes LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and…the chefs.”

3. CNBC: “As LeBron James boosts Cleveland’s profile, more entrepreneurs are moving in”

This article emphasizes the economic growth the region has come to know. Watch a short video on how JumpStart Inc. is helping Cleveland startups take off:

“The area boasts a scrappy and growing entrepreneurial scene. In 2015 the Cleveland metro ranked No. 12 nationally for established main street business activity, with 1,150 established small businesses for every 100,000 residents in the city, according to data from the Kauffman Foundation.”

From business to tourism to sports and entertainment, Northeast Ohio celebrated excellence in 2016. We can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for our incredible region.



Cleveland Plus is Northeast Ohio’s first and only regional marketing campaign, which was launched in 2007. The campaign is a program of Team NEO and has four primary objectives:

- Attract business and jobs to our region through the work of Team NEO (Cleveland Plus Business).
- Garner positive national media coverage of the region’s economic development progress, its growth industries and its quality of life amenities.
- Disseminate positive news and information, particularly in the area of economic develop, to community influencers within the region.
- Help corporations, institutions and organizations attract talent to Northeast Ohio.
To learn more about Team NEO, please visit www.teamneo.org.