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In an official statement from the league, as shared by ESPN's senior NFL insider Adam Schefter, it has been announced that the 2020 NFL Draft player selection process will take place April 23-25 and will be televised. It is unclear how the process will be impacted, but the league has revealed it will explore "innovative options for how the process will be conducted."
Public NFL Draft events in Las Vegas, however, have been canceled altogether due to public safety concerns. The move was made with guidance from medical experts from the CDC and public authorities in Nevada and the city of Las Vegas.
"This decision reflects our foremost priority—the health and safety of all fans and citizens," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. "While this outcome is disappointing both to the NFL and to the Las Vegas community, we look forward to partnering with the Raider, 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."
The news comes just a day after Schefter indicated that there was "no way" the league would do a "regular draft" as concerns over the virus linger. "There's not gonna be a crowd of fans at the draft this year. I don't need the NFL to tell me that right now to know that. I'm telling you right now, that's not going to happen," said Schefter on SportsCenter on Sunday. "I can tell you right now, there's no way that regular draft is happening in Vegas next month."
It's unclear if there will be any significant impact to the NFL season, especially since it will not kick off until September. Elsewhere in the world of sports, the NBA season has been suspended, but league commissioner Adam Silver hasn't ruled out an outright cancellation. The virus hasn't just impacted sports, however, as production has been halted on a number of TV and movie productions.