NFL draft to proceed in April with modifications amid coronavirus concerns

(NEW YORK) — The National Football League has announced plans to “modify” the 2020 player selection process.

“In consideration of current information related to COVID-19 and guidance from medical experts such as the CDC,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced in a statement Monday that this year’s draft will “proceed as scheduled April 23-25″ in Las Vegas.”

The NFL said the televised event will be modified in coordination with Nevada and Las Vegas authorities.

While the NFL has not specified what kind of modifications will take place, the league plans to release more detailed information “as it becomes available.”  The NFL did say all public draft events will be cancelled.

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

As more people across the United States test positive for the novel coronavirus, the health emergency has forced changes to major sporting events.

Goodell announced last week that the NFL annual meeting to discuss “open football issues, including playing rules, bylaws and resolutions,” has been pushed from late March to May 19-20.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced last week that the basketball season would be suspended indefinitely. Other events from NCAA March Madness to professional golf and the MLB’s spring training have also been cancelled, postponed and suspended.

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