NFL says Draft will still take place on April 23-25, all public events canceled

Posted at 10:32 AM, Mar 16, 2020

The NFL said Monday the 2020 college draft would still take place on April 23-25, but it was canceling the public events surrounding the event in Las Vegas.

The league said that it still plans on televising the event, but did not go into specifics.

"This decision reflects our foremost priority -- the health and safety of all fans and citizens," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. "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 ."

In recent years, the NFL has held its college draft outdoors in front of spectators in cities around the country. The 2019 NFL Draft was held in Nashville. The league has also staged the draft in cities like Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas.

The draft was scheduled to take place in front of Las Vegas' Bellagio hotel in front of thousands of spectators. Las Vegas was picked as part of the Raiders' relocation from Oakland.

The NFL's decision to hold the draft as scheduled comes days after the league sent a memo that prohibited teams from traveling to visit college prospects or inviting college players into team facilities — decisions that will limit teams as they attempt to scout potential draft picks.

Should the league's decision hold until next month, the NFL Draft might be one of the few pro sporting events to take place for the foreseeable future. On Sunday, the CDC advised that Americans should avoid gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday that in a "best-case scenario," the NBA planned to resume its season in June.

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