The NFL announced Monday that the annual draft will go on as scheduled, April 23-25, but it will do so without without fans. The league says it will cancel all public events that were originally scheduled in Las Vegas in an effort reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Sunday that all gatherings of 50 or more people be postponed or canceled for at least the next eight weeks in order to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
“This decision reflects our foremost priority, the health and safety of all fans and citizens,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday 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.”
While the sports world has shut down a number of events, the NFL is continuing with the start of its new league year as scheduled, which opens at 3 p.m. CT on Wednesday. But teams can begin negotiating with players today (Monday) as part of the league’s legal tampering window.