The NFL Draft is usually held in front of a lively crowd. Unfortunately this year, due to ongoing circumstances, the NFL has decided to hold the event behind closed doors. The event was supposed to be held in Las Vegas. With the recommendation of medical professionals, the Las Vegas government has decided to suspend all public events within the city.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has released a statement that addresses the change. He wrote, ‘This decision reflects our foremost priority, the health and safety of all fans and citizens. 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’.
It is unknown at the moment if some players will be allowed to travel and be at the venue of the draft. Being drafted is one of the biggest events in a player’s career and it would be a shame for the prospects to not be given the spotlight on their special day.
The league has said that they are looking for innovative ways to how the draft will be conducted. This is an unprecedented event, and they will surely think of a way to bring the fans what they want even if there are none in the live audience.
The NFL announced last week that teams were prohibited from making visits to the prospects because of the ongoing pandemic.
NFL Scouting Combine head Jeff Foster is looking to establish a team of medical professionals that will be aimed to check the physical status of all prospects. These physicians will help the prospects so that they will not need to travel anymore for their physicals. The information from the medical professionals will then be forwarded to all of the 32 teams in the league.
The Las Vegas Raiders is one of the main parties involved in organizing this year’s draft. Owner Mark Davis has already put out a statement that addresses the unfortunate decision that they had to make.
He wrote, ‘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. 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!’.
Although it will not be held in front of a live audience, the NFL draft will still be broadcasted across the league’s available platforms. The 2020 NFL draft will be held on April 23 until the 25th.