Thu, 28 May 2020

NFL might bring draft back to Las Vegas in 2022

Field Level Media
01 Apr 2020, 13:55 GMT+10

The coronavirus pandemic wiped out the NFL's plans to host this year's draft in Las Vegas, but the event might head to Sin City in 2022.

Next year's draft will be held in Cleveland, and the 2023 draft is scheduled for Kansas City, but the NFL has yet to pick a 2022 venue.

The 2020 draft, to be held April 23-25, will be run remotely out of a television studio. All team representatives will be in their home markets, and potential draftees will be made available via televised connections.

The original plans for the Las Vegas draft called for a three-day fanfest outside Caesars Forum, plus a red-carpet stage above the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel, with draftees taking ferries to TV interviews.

Those plans might be resurrected in two years, according to NFL vice president Peter O'Reilly.

"(The draft in) 2022 is an option for Las Vegas," O'Reilly said Tuesday on a conference call. "We need some time to work through that with Las Vegas, with the Raiders and with the (Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority) out there. But that is something we are considering, for sure.

"We want to thank our tremendous partners in Las Vegas, the state of Nevada, the Las Vegas Raiders and all of our partners and fans who would have been part of an amazing public draft in Las Vegas. As we have said previously, we are focused with them now on identifying a future draft to do fully and properly in Las Vegas."

Raiders owner Mark Davis was pleased by O'Reilly's comments.

"At some point in time Las Vegas is going to be able to take advantage of being Las Vegas and what we have to offer here, so we'd be beyond excited for that opportunity," Davis told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "It's just unfortunate how everything was lined up for this to be the kickoff to the inaugural season of the Raiders in Las Vegas, and it just made so much sense and we were all so excited about it, everyone from the governor down to the city managers and everyone else.

"And everyone put a lot of time and effort into making it an event that would be second to none, here in Las Vegas. We were all looking forward to it, and it was just going to be so exciting."

LVCVA spokeswoman Lori Nelson-Kraft told the Review-Journal, "Peter's remarks about future consideration to host the draft in Las Vegas were very exciting to hear. We would be thrilled to welcome the NFL and all of their loyal fans to Las Vegas for an 'Only Vegas' draft experience when the opportunity presents itself."

The NFL draft was held annually in New York from 1965-2014, but it has been conducted recently in Chicago (2015, '16), Philadelphia (2017), Dallas (2018) and Nashville (2019).

--Field Level Media

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