The NFL Draft will go ahead in Las Vegas next month but with all public events cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.
In an effort to tackle the outbreak of Covid-19, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed that the Draft will still take place across 23-25 April but without any fans in attendance, while the wider events surrounding the popular event have been called off completely.
But officials did confirm that the Draft will be televised to ensure that NFL fans can watch the signing process as the best young talent entering the game is snapped up in the annual curtain-raiser.
An NFL statement issued on Monday read: “In consideration of current information related to Covid-19 and guidance from medical experts such as the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and prevention), and in coordination with public authorities in Nevada and the City of Las Vegas, the NFL will modify its plans for the 2020 NFL Draft, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today.
“The clubs’ selection of players will proceed as scheduled April 23-25. The NFL is exploring innovative options for how the process will be conducted and will provide that information as it becomes available. The selection process will be televised.
“Public NFL Draft events in Las Vegas next month will not take place.”
Explaining the decision to lock fans out from the event, Goodell confirmed that it was one taken with the health of those who were due to attend in mind.
“This decision reflects our foremost priority – the health and safety of all fans and citizens,” Goodell said. “While this outcome is disappointing both to the NFL and to the Las Vegas community, we look forward to partnering with the Raiders, the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for a future NFL Draft as well as evaluating opportunities for other major NFL events in Las Vegas in the future, including the Super Bowl.”