Sports | March 22, 2020 11:27 am

NFL Will Not Hold Draft in Las Vegas, Opting for a TV Studio Instead

Due to COVID-19, the league will opt for a small scale setting for the Draft

NFL Draft Logo
The NFL shield logo in neon lights during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Though it’s normally the biggest event of the league’s off-season, the NFL Draft will not feature all of its usual glitz, glamour, and handshakes this year. According to a Los Angeles Times report, the NFL will skip the planned event in Las Vegas in order to hold a much smaller draft in a “studio setting.”

The news comes after the NFL announced on Monday that it will not postpone the draft due to the coronavirus pandemic, though it was cancelling all of the public events surrounding the draft itself in Las Vegas. In a separate memo to league personnel, commissioner Roger Goodell asserted the draft would go on in some format, because of what he feels it would mean to the American people:

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.

And so, while there won’t be the usual festival of football surrounding the draft, the selection process for next year’s rookies will carry on. Quoting two sources with knowledge of the situation, the Los Angeles Times report says that, instead of having everyone gathered for the event, the league will do virtual cut-ins of team HQs during picks:

[The] current plans call for some type of studio setting with cut-ins from the headquarters of the teams making the selection at a given time.

Of course, there’s no word yet about what those HQs will look like as coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States. With the draft just over a month away, it might be impossible to host even this toned-down studio show this year. But for now, the NFL is trying to adapt rather than concede defeat when it comes to the draft.

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Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times