NFL Draft to go ahead as scheduled in April, says commissioner Roger Goodell
Goodell: 'I also believe that the draft can serve a very positive purpose for our clubs, our fans, and the country at large, and many of you have agreed'
Last Updated: 27/03/20 7:22am
The NFL Draft will take place as scheduled in April, commissioner Roger Goodell has confirmed.
The NFL Management Council's Executive Committee has given unanimous approval for the three-day event, from April 23 to 25, to go ahead despite a league order to close all team facilities to coaches and scouting staff from Wednesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Players, fans and media will not be present in the modified format, which will be held in a TV studio, after the NFL shifted pre-draft preparations away from Las Vegas.
"Apart from the CEC, I have personally discussed this matter with many other owners, club executives and coaches, and there is widespread support for the CEC's conclusion," Goodell said in the memo to all 32 teams.
"Everyone recognises that public health conditions are highly uncertain and there is no assurance that we can select a different date and be confident that conditions will be significantly more favourable than they are today.
"I also believe that the draft can serve a very positive purpose for our clubs, our fans, and the country at large, and many of you have agreed.
"Because of the unique circumstances in our country today, the 2020 draft will obviously need to be conducted in a different way.
"Already, we have cancelled all public events, we will not be bringing prospects and their families to the draft, and the draft itself will be conducted and televised in a way that reflects current conditions.
"Our staff is certainly mindful of the operational issues this presents, and our top priority is putting in place procedures that allow all clubs to operate on a level playing field so that the draft is conducted in a way that is competitively fair to all clubs.
"All clubs should now be doing the necessary planning to conduct draft operations in a location outside of your facility, with a limited number of people present, and with sufficient technology resources to allow you to communicate internally, with other clubs, and with draft headquarters."