The blockbuster welcome to Las Vegas the NFL has been planning for is no more. Next month’s NFL draft will be contained to a studio and not the elaborate boats navigating players across the Bellagio Hotel fountain to the stage.
All those plans were redrawn in reaction to the coronavirus outbreak.
However, the event is still scheduled for April 23-25. The league had to rip up its previous extravagant plans for its entrance into a city that thought it would never have professional sports let alone an NFL team.
According to reports, the new draft day will be in a studio setting with cut-ins from the headquarters of the teams making the selection at a given time.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote a memo to all league employees last week.
“Planning for the Draft is a good example of how we need to think differently, embrace technology and collaborate. We will also use the Draft to help support fans and those people impacted in our communities.
“While there have been changes to the way we work and some of our plans, we have an unwavering commitment to upholding the NFL’s legacy of unifying and lifting the spirit of America, and bringing out the best in our fans and in our communities around the world. You’ll hear more from us in the days and weeks ahead about how we intend to demonstrate that commitment well beyond our fields. And I hope you’ll share your ideas on how we can do that.”
Sin City Shutdown
All public events, gaming, and entertainment are closed in Las Vegas. The NFL announced that the draft remained on schedule. It is not certain if the draft will still be in Las Vegas, however.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodwin opposes business closures as the coronavirus spreads.
She called for the governor to reduce the length of his 30-day order shutting down casinos. However, Gov. Steve Sisolak responded strongly saying elected officials have to understand the severity of the situation.