In the United States and the National Football League (NFL) has reportedly announced that its upcoming player draft will not be held as a public event in Las Vegas as was originally planned due to continued fears over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
According to a report from local television broadcaster KTNV-TV, the NFL revealed that this year’s edition of the ceremony to recruit collegiate players into its ranks is still set to take place from April 23 to 25 but will now not feature the public elements that have for so long been a staple of the annual experience.
The broadcaster reported that the three-day event was due to generate millions of dollars for the economy of Las Vegas as of thousands of gridiron football fans turned out to discover for which teams the stars of the future would be playing. Plans were purportedly due to see prospective picks ferried by boat to an introduction stage built above the fountains outside of the Bellagio before being whisked away to the Caesars Forum convention center to have their future employers unveiled.
Officially known as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the highly-contagious coronavirus strain was first recorded in the Chinese city of Wuhan in early-December and has so far claimed the lives of 73 Americans including one person in Nevada. The prospect of further infections recently saw casino giants Wynn Resorts Limited and MGM Resorts International announce the closure of venues in Las Vegas while NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly declared that his organization’s decision reflects its ‘foremost priority’, which he proclaimed was ‘the health and safety of all fans and citizens.’
Reportedly read a statement from Goodall…
“While this outcome is disappointing both to the NFL and to the Las Vegas community, we look forward to partnering with the [Las Vegas] 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.”
KTNV-TV reported that the NFL still plans to televise this year’s player draft and proclaimed that it is currently in the process of exploring ‘innovative options for how the process will be conducted.’