2020 NFL Draft will be held but without public events in Las Vegas


The 2020 NFL Draft will go on as planned, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Monday.

But the lavish, public spectacle scheduled for Las Vegas has been canceled, after the league considered current information related to the coronavirus, which has forced cancellations and postponements inside and outside the sporting world.

The draft will proceed from Thursday, April 23, through Saturday, April 25. It will be televised.

"This decision reflects our foremost priority -- the health and safety of all fans and citizens," 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 league will modify its plan for the draft, Goodell said. The league is exploring innovative options for how the process will be conducted and will provide that information as it becomes available.

This is a significant setback for the Raiders, who planned to showcase their new home market on a grand scale. Owner Mark Davis expressed disappointment that a big party had been canceled, but believes public safety should come first. 

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"After careful consideration, the Las Vegas Raiders, the NFL, the NFLPA and the LVCVA have decided to cancel the 2020 Las Vegas NFL Draft celebration," Davis said in a statement issued by the team. "Health and safety has 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!"

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