The 2020 NFL Draft will be a unique one thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, with the festivities being held virtually instead of as planned in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now, there could be another major change.
According to Peter King in this week’s Football Morning in America, there is a “momentum” building for ESPN and the NFL Network to team up for their coverage.
“It’s looking more likely that instead of the two football rivals doing info-warring separate telecasts, they’ll combine to do one telecast, likely out of the ESPN studio in Bristol, Conn., with NFL Network talent either co-hosting or being major contributors to the coverage,” King wrote in the column.
“As it was explained to me, it’s looking more and more likely that West and East coast studios owned and operated by the NFL, in Culver City, Calif., and Mount Laurel, N.J., will remain closed by state decrees, while the ESPN facility is allowed to remain open on a limited basis.”
It is just the latest change in the NFL Draft since the league decided to take its show on the road. Las Vegas had edged out bids from cities like Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Cleveland/Canton to host this year’s draft from April 23 to April 25 before the last-minute changes.
In recent years, the NFL has strayed from tradition and moved the draft out of New York City, where it had been held for years.
In 2015, the NFL Draft moved to Chicago, Illinois which marked the first time since 1965 that the draft was held outside of New York City. It was held at Auditorium Theatre in Grant Part which marked the first draft to feature an outdoor component. The draft returned to Chicago in 2016 after the great reception a year prior. In 2017, the draft shifted to Philadelphia where it was held on the iconic Rocky Steps outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was the most attended draft in NFL history with more than 250,000 fans.
Then, in 2018, the draft was held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and it marked more NFL first’s. It was the first time in history that the draft was held in the state of Texas, while also being the first draft to take place in an NFL stadium. The 2019 NFL Draft was held in Nashville, Tennessee.