The league announced on Monday that the Pro Bowl would be replaced by the “Pro Bowl Games”, a full week of games of skill and technique with a match of flag football.
The NFL concluded that fans and players no longer had much interest in the Pro Bowl, a game featuring the best players from the AFC and NFC conferences, despite repeated attempts to change the format, location and selection process. these last years.
The NFL has therefore decided to completely reform this event with the establishment of the first “Pro Bowl Games” in Las Vegas, a showcase that will include a flag football match on Sunday February 5.
“We’ve received invaluable feedback from players, teams and fans on the reimagining of the Pro Bowl, and as a result, we’re excited to use The Pro Bowl Games as a platform to shine a light on flag football in as an integral part of the sport of the future while introducing fun new forms of competition and entertainment that will bring our players, their families and their fans closer than ever before.”said Peter O’Reilly, NFL Executive Vice President, Club Business and League Events.
Players and several franchise owners have criticized the Pro Bowl for becoming a passive competition and not truly honoring the 88 players selected for the NFC and AFC teams.
“Building on the success of the 2022 Pro Bowl and the 2022 Draft, as well as our strong partnership with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and the Las Vegas Raiders, we look forward to bringing the Pro Games Bowl 2023 in the world-class sports and entertainment capital.”
In 2013, Commissioner Roger Goodell said he had informed the owners in a meeting that without “quality improvement”, the Pro Bowl was not helpful to the NFL or its players. And 10 years later, the most radical changes will be put in place for the window.
The league said Pro Bowl games “maintain fan-favorite moments and events, including fan voting, which will begin in the fall and help determine NFC and AFC team rosters; skills activities, where the best NFL players participate in unique competitions; and the East-West Shrine Bowl, where future senior collegiate professionals have the opportunity to showcase and develop their talents.”
Legend Peyton Manning will oversee some elements of the skills competition and will be a member of the coaching staff for the flag football match. A full schedule of events will be released later this year, the NFL said in a statement Monday.
The Pro Bowl was introduced in 1951 in Los Angeles but took root in NFL tradition as a major event when it took hold in Hawaii from 1980 to 2009.