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2020 NFL Draft: League won’t delay or cancel draft due to coronavirus, but cancels public events tied to it – CBS Sports

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a list of sports leagues at all levels to either suspend or outright cancel events and entire seasons, but not the NFL. The league is still mulling possible changes to the the offseason calendar, but the only one they’ve made thus far has been to cancel the annual meeting, and instead table those issues to be revisited at the spring meeting in May. Before that happens, however, they’re set to host the 2020 NFL Draft from April 23-25 in Las Vegas. 

As it stands, that will still be the case. The league made an official announcement on Monday, March 16 that the draft would go on as planned, schedule-wise, but not as it was once intended. All public events tied to the draft have been canceled, and the NFL is still working out any possible amendments to how the draft process itself will be held. 

What was projected to be the most attended draft in league history has now been relegated to television only.

“This decision reflects our foremost priority – the health and safety of all fans and citizens,” 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.”

Las Vegas has already taken the precaution of closing casinos and other public outlets, which no doubt prompted the NFL to make their final decision on public fan events. The NFL has the benefit of its regular season not occurring until September, but the impact of COVID-19 is being felt everywhere. How much more it’ll impact the league’s offseason is anyone’s guess, but free agency, the new league year and the draft dates all remain unchanged for now. 

Teams from around the league have voiced concerns over the NFL’s decision to mostly move forward in a business as usual tone during such a trying time, but their cries for a sweeping pause have mostly gone unnoticed. 

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