NFL Draft still on for April but closed to public

NFL Draft
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The NFL Draft will go on as scheduled, just without the fanfare. 

Monday saw the league cancel all public events surrounding the 2020 draft next month in Las Vegas — the new home of the Raiders — due to concerns over coronavirus, per multiple reports. 

However, the draft will still take place between April 23-25 and nationally televised, but it will be closed to the public. 

“This decision reflects our foremost priority — the health and safety of all fans and citizens,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said 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.”

The decision comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that public gatherings of more than 50 people be avoided due to the outbreak of coronavirus, which has resulted in the postponement of the NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS seasons. It also led to the cancellation of the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.