Las Vegas was all set to host the NFL draft this year, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to shift to a virtual draft instead.
In 2022, the city will get another shot.
The NFL will host the 2022 draft in Las Vegas, league commissioner Roger Goodell announced before the Raiders’ second draft pick on Thursday night. The Las Vegas Review-Journal was first to report the news.
The draft will be held in Cleveland next year, and in Kansas City in 2023.
Las Vegas was set to host this year’s draft from the iconic fountains in front of the Bellagio, and prospects would have been taken by boat to the main stage at the Ceasars Forum convention center. It was a perfect time to host the draft in the city, too, with the Raiders ready to kick off their first season there this fall after moving from Oakland.
Roger Goodell makes it official: The NFL Draft is coming to Las Vegas in 2022. pic.twitter.com/44vMxcIsBm
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 24, 2020
With the coronavirus pandemic still raging and a stay-at-home order in the state extended through the end of the month, however, the NFL was forced to go virtual with its draft instead — eliminating the potential for a draft, and fan experience, unlike the league has seen before.
“It would have been such a great night,” Chris Baldizan, a senior vice president with MGM Resorts International who sits on the board of Las Vegas Events, told Yahoo Sports. “It was all about the fans. The fans are what drive the NFL, just like the guests are what drive Las Vegas.”
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