The NFL has drastic changes to make in regard to its draft process.
Due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic that has shaken the entire sports world, the NFL is reportedly expected to make an announcement that will alter the 2020 NFL Draft, which is set for April 23-25 in Las Vegas. But with the city basically closed down, and temporarily banning gatherings of 50 or more people, the NFL has already moved to cancel the public event.
Instead, the draft is expected to be conducted from inside of a television studio, and it will not be in Las Vegas at all, according to the Los Angeles Times. The exact location of the studio is unknown at this point in time.
The NFL has not made a public announcement regarding changes to the draft, but commissioner Roger Goodell said in a memo to league employees in mid-March: “Planning for the (NFL) 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.”
The broadcast will include cut-aways to each team’s war room and draft headquarters during the draft, the Los Angeles Times reported.
With teams already banning travel for their personnel ahead of the draft, it’s unlikely all 32 would be willing to risk exposing themselves to the coronavirus. So far, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is the only member of the NFL community to test positive for the virus.