The NFL today announced that they will be joining the hundreds of thousands of American businesses that are making drastic operational changes in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Following the guidance of medical experts such as the CDC and other health departments as well as recommendations from Nevada and the City of Las Vegas public authorities, the NFL announced their modified plans for the 2020 NFL Draft.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today that the draft will proceed as scheduled April 23-25, but with some major restrictions. All public events will be canceled and attendance at official draft events will be extremely limited to essential personnel only.
“This decision reflects our foremost priority – the health and safety of all fans and citizens,” said Commissioner Goodell. “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.”
Mark Davis, the owner of the newly minted Las Vegas Raiders, who were hoping to use the draft as a chance to highlight their blossoming franchise, issued the following statement: “Las Vegas Raiders, the NFL, the NFLPA and the LVCVA have decided to cancel the 2020 Las Vegas NFL Draft celebration. Health and safety have always been our top priority, so despite it being a major disappointment, this was the right decision. I would like to thank Governor Sisolak and the LVCVA for all of the passion they put into creating an event that would have been second to none. Although Las Vegas lost this chance to shine, there will be many more opportunities to show the world just what Las Vegas is made of. Whether it be the Draft, the Pro Bowl or the Super Bowl, the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World is ready!”
As of yet, there is no official word as to when (or if) major American sports such as the NBA, NHL, MLB, or MLS are expected to resume their regular or post-season games.