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NFL Draft Preps for Digital Debut: Top Stories Thursday

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Here are the stories shaping sports and business on Thursday, April 23. The NFL Draft starts tonight. Nearly 13% of New York residents tested have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. And DraftKings is ready to make its debut as a public company.

The NFL Draft

There hasn’t been sports on TV since the NBA, NHL, NCAA and MLB suspended their seasons on March 12. That’s about six weeks of no sports. Tonight, that all changes. While it isn’t necessarily a game, the NFL Draft kicks-off tonight with the first round starting at 8:00 pm (est). So while we won’t see any dunks, touchdowns, or home-runs, we will see 32 college players get selected by their future employer.

The 2020 Draft was scheduled to be in Las Vegas with the first round selections greeting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on a floating stage inside the fountains in front of the Bellagio. But the coronavirus changed all that.

Instead the entire Draft will take place virtually. That means Roger Goodell will be announcing picks from his house. Players will be celebrating with their families from their house. Even the announcers are going to be setup in virtual studios.

From Sports Illustrated: 2020 NFL Mock Draft 18.0: One Final Mock on the Eve of the Draft

An Update on the Coronavirus

There are over 2.6 million cases worldwide, with over 186,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The U.S. has over 845,000 cases, New York has 263,000 cases and Spain has over 213,000 cases.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his daily coronavirus briefing, said that of the 3,000 people tested for virus antibodies in New York state, nearly 14% tested positive. In New York City, around 1,300 people that were tested for antibodies, over 20% tested positive for the antibodies.

And then there’s Gilead. Gilead's stock was sinking after a Stat report came out saying that the potential antiviral drug, remdesivir, failed its first randomized clinical trial.

However, Gilead has warned that the post “inappropriate characterisations of the study.”

This followed a report from last week that had said that remdesivir saw promising results in Chicago.

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DraftKings Gets Ready to Go Public

It’s been a long and bumpy road for DraftKings. Originally founded in 2012, the Daily Fantasy Sports turned Sportbook giant has had to jump through several legal battles, lobbying of politicians, and ultimately a supreme court case that legalized sports gambling in the US. Eight years after CEO and founder Jason Robbins created the company, they are ready to debut on the Nasdaq.

DraftKings is essentially piggy backing onto the exchange by way of Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corporation which is a special purpose acquisition company. Diamond Eagle paid DraftKings around $2 billion in cash and stock.

What you need to know is that the deal is valued around $2.7 billion. Variety has said that this will be the “only vertically integrated U.S. sports betting and online gaming company. Shares will trade under ticker DKNG.

And Diamond Eagle shareholders will vote today on the merger.

Latest NFL Draft Coverage from Sports Illustrated

· NFL Mock Draft: Vegas Odds Predict First Round

· SI's 2020 NFL Draft Prop Betting Guide

· Breaking Down SI's Final 2020 NFL Mock Draft

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