It’s been too long

DKS Editors

Northeast Ohio isn’t in the spotlight much. And when it is, it’s not for the best reasons. After all, Forbes ranked Cleveland, Youngstown and Canton as three of America’s fastest-dying cities.

Cleveland alone has some pretty grim statistics. Cleveland is the second poorest major city other than Detroit, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2007, about a third of Clevelanders lived below the poverty line ($16,530 or less in income). Educational attainment and unemployment statistics are just as dismal.

So it was refreshing to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions actually take place in Cleveland on Saturday. It was the first time since 1997 that the ceremony took place in the city home to the hall of fame. And now officials expect the event to take place in Cleveland every three years. The ceremony was even opened to the public for the first time, and thousands of fans and rock stars alike packed Cleveland’s Public Auditorium.

Whether any of us are actually fans of any of the acts inducted this year (or any year), we’re glad Cleveland was in the spotlight instead of New York City.

It makes sense for the ceremony to actually take place in the city home to the hall of fame. Imagine what the ceremony did for the local economy. The museum alone contributes $107.1 million to the local economy each year and generates more than $5 million annually in state and local revenue.

Events such as this have the ability to showcase a city that otherwise gets negative press. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seems to be one of the shining beacons of Northeast Ohio, along with, perhaps, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

One of this year’s inductees, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, told the crowd on the night of his induction that “anything is possible if you just have the guts to believe it.” Northeast Ohioans should have the gall to believe that anything is possible. Driving through this area isn’t the most inspiring activity, but we need to look beyond the dilapidated buildings and rusted out factories.

Ohioans should express their appreciation of the fact the ceremony took place in Cleveland. Let the world know that we want national events to take place here. Show pride in your state, in your city, in your region. Even if you aren’t from this area, take pride in wherever you’re from.

Nonetheless, it was gratifying to feel like we live like Los Angeles or New York for a night. Who would have thought we’d ever have Run DMC and Metallica in Cleveland on the same night? It must mean our city is doing something right.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.