The NFL announced Monday that the upcoming draft, which takes place from April 29 to May 1, will be a bridge between the league’s recent extremes. Goodell will once again announce choices from a scene, this time in Cleveland, and team personnel will again be allowed to work out of so-called war rooms, as long as they follow local health guidelines. ESPN, ABC and the NFL Network will broadcast the event on television.
This version of the annual spectacle will marry the ceremony of the league’s recent concepts with the socially distributed production elements of last season. Some rookies will still compete virtually from their homes, while the mask and distance requirements will apply to those on the premises in Cleveland. The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how many prospects there would be in Cleveland, or whether health protocols would prevent the bear hugs between doctors and Goodell that were a feature of the event.
The draft is the first public event of the NFL since Super Bowl LV, which took place with a hybrid attendance model in Tampa, Fla. There were 22,000 fans – a relatively large number in the pandemic era – but the lowest attendance ever watched the event. personally, following masks and social distance measures, at Raymond James Stadium when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs.
The prospect of a festive championship, or even the completion of a full season, was in doubt in March 2020. But despite the outbursts of team facilities and the delay in the schedule changes that followed, the NFL has all 256 games in the played regular season and played a full playoff game. leads within the limits of the season’s planned start and end date. From August to the end of the play-offs, 262 players and 463 team personnel, or 0.08 percent, contracted the coronavirus. These statistics, coupled with a gradual decline in infections and local restrictions across the country, have allowed some of the league’s teams to increase their attendance levels at matches as the season progresses.
Goodell will announce selections from an outdoor stage near Lake Erie, and invited fans from all 32 teams will watch from a nearby theater. The fans must be fully vaccinated, according to a statement released by the league on Monday. Entertainers, coordinated by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, will also perform on the main stage.