There is still over a month to go before the 2020 NFL Draft is slated to begin, but at least for now, the formal plan remains that the event will be held on the dates previously scheduled, April 23-25. The original plans for the event, however, are already known to be vastly different than what will actually take place.
“The NFL is exploring innovative options for how the process will be conducted and will provide that information as it becomes available”, the league said in an issued statement announcing that the dates, so far, remain firm. “The selection process will be televised”, in what is basically the only thing they can assure. I wouldn’t even fully guarantee that the draft will ultimately be held in Las Vegas.
The statement also reads that all public events that had previously been scheduled tied to coincide with the draft have been cancelled. It’s not as though there was any alternative to this amid the coronavirus outbreak, with the government now recommending avoiding all gatherings of 10 people or more.
“This decision reflects our foremost priority — the health and safety of all fans and citizens”, the press release quotes Roger Goodell as saying. “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”.
It remains to be seen how the draft will be conducted, either as a televised event or relative to how individual teams will conduct their business. Typically, every team operates from a ‘draft room’ or a ‘war room’, wherein are gathered…more than 10 people, consisting of owners, coaches, general managers, and assorted scouts and miscellaneous personnel.
Will they still try to have cameras in war rooms? How will the war rooms operate? Members of teams will have to be in some sort of communication with one another in order to reach decisions on whom to draft.
Are we just going to see Goodell standing in an empty stadium, like some sort of dystopian science fiction sports movie from the 1970s? How will they conduct the broadcast from an analytical standpoint? Will there booth commentator booths?
There are so many logistical loose ends that must be tied together between now and late April, but the good news is that there is some time to put this all in place. That is, assuming that the draft still takes place as scheduled, and is not further delayed.