The National Football League (NFL) has stated discussions are being held with the Players’ Association (NFLPA) regarding the future of the Pro Bowl, amid reports the annual all-star game is set to be scrapped.
ESPN, citing League sources, on Thursday reported that while the 2013 Pro Bowl has been scheduled for the week before the Super Bowl in New Orleans on February 3 a site for the event has yet to be secured owing to its “precarious status”. Honolulu has staged the Pro Bowl every year since 1980, with the exception of 2010, but the NFL’s deal with the Hawaiian capital expired following this year’s event.
While the game continues to draw strong television ratings, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is reported to be displeased with the lack of competitiveness in recent Pro Bowls, believing it reflects poorly on both the League and its players. The 2012 Pro Bowl saw the American Football Conference (AFC) defeat the National Football Conference (NFC) 59-41, but the early stages of the game drew criticism from fans for its lack of intensity.
ESPN reports Goodell is strongly considering suspending this year’s game, with a League source stating the Pro Bowl is “dead on arrival” beyond 2013. Speaking to NFL.com, League spokesman Greg Aiello said that the NFL had “been in discussions with the union (NFLPA) about the future of the Pro Bowl…[but] no determination has been made yet about this season’s game”.
Questions raised over future of NFL’s Pro Bowl