Bears close offices, suspend travel and cancel NFL Draft party amid COVID-19 pandemic


The Bears on Thursday night announced they’ve suspended air travel for team personnel and postponed visits by draft prospects to Halas Hall, following the lead of multiple NFL teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Bears also will close both office locations while asking employees to work from home on Friday, March 13. 

“Further staffing and travel decisions will be made as we continue to monitor the fluid situation,” the team’s statement read. “The health and safety of our players, coaches and all staff is our utmost priority.”

Additionally, the Bears cancelled their April 24 draft party as part of Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker’s ban on events exceeding 1,000 people. All fans who bought tickets to the draft party will receive an email with for a full refund. 

The Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions were among the NFL teams on Thursday to suspend travel and/or close team facilities. The NFL cancelled its annual league meeting, scheduled for late March and early April in Palm Beach, Fla., but did not make a league-wide decision on whether or not teams should keep their facilities open or pull coaches, scouts and front office types off the road. 

The NFL’s “legal tampering” period, for now, is still scheduled to begin Monday, with the new league year set to begin March 18. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported Thursday the league, though, is considering delaying free agency on Sunday, once NFLPA member voting on the new CBA is completed. 

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