ARIZONA CARDINALS

NFL Draft to continue, public events canceled amid coronavirus outbreak

Mar 16, 2020, 8:51 AM | Updated: 4:42 pm

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, 201...

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Public events for the NFL Draft are canceled and the league is “exploring innovative options” for conducting the event in Las Vegas as scheduled, the league said in a statement on Monday.

The draft, which was set for April 23-25, will continue as originally scheduled. But the NFL said it is modifying its plans as the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has prompted many businesses to close up shop and authorities to advise against or outright ban public gatherings.

“This decision reflects our foremost priority — the health and safety of all fans and citizens,” commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. “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.”

This includes the Arizona Cardinals’ draft party, the team announced later on Monday.

Despite the major impact coronavirus has had on sports, including the cancellation, postponement or hiatus of several other leagues and events, the NFL said Sunday it plans to start its league year on time. Free agency begins Wednesday.

On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended the cancellation or postponement of events that have more than 50 people.

Nevada has already begun taking preventative measures on its own in response to the pandemic, which included the closure of all K-12 schools on Sunday through at least April 6.

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals HC Jonathan Gannon...

Tyler Drake

Close it out! Cards’ Jonathan Gannon predicts defensive wild card win for D-backs

Defense wins championships, or in this case, National League Wild Card Series. Just ask Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon.

1 hour ago

Garrett Williams introductory press conference...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals designate rookie CB Garrett Williams for return off NFI

The Cardinals designated rookie cornerback Garrett Williams for return from the non-football injury list on Wednesday.

4 hours ago

Nolan Cooney...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals release P Nolan Cooney, sign 2 to active roster

The Arizona Cardinals released punter Nolan Cooney and added Blake Gillikin on Tuesday afternoon, the team announced.

1 day ago

Dante Stills...

Tyler Drake

New era notes: Cardinals’ Dante Stills impressing as snaps pile up

Rookie Dante Stills is flying under the radar as he slowly but surely gets the chance to prove himself along the defensive line.

2 days ago

Christian Matthew at training camp...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals release CB Christian Matthew, 2 others from 53-man roster

The Arizona Cardinals released cornerbacks Kris Boyd and Christian Matthew and offensive lineman Ilm Manning on Monday.

2 days ago

Presented By...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Why Arizona fans should be optimistic after weekend of Cardinals, Diamondbacks losses

It was a weekend of losses for sports teams across the Valley, including Team U.S.A. in the Ryder Cup, but Dan Bickley explains why Arizona sports fans should be optimistic heading into a new week. Video: Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports Presented By

2 days ago

NFL Draft to continue, public events canceled amid coronavirus outbreak