The NFL Pro Bowl is reportedly bidding “aloha” to Honolulu … and “aloha” to Orlando.
The league is moving the annual all-star game to the central Florida resort city according to a Bloomberg report on Thursday.
However, a representative for the NFL told TheWrap that no deal has been made yet with any of the prospective cities. “Multiple cities have expressed interest in hosting the Pro Bowl, including Honolulu, Houston (the host city for next year’s Super Bowl LI), Orlando and Sydney, Australia. We do not have a comment on discussions with any of these cities,” the spokesperson said.
Honolulu has hosted the all-star event every year with two exceptions since 1979.
If the move to Orlando is confirmed, the Pro Bowl will be played at the Citrus Bowl, which underwent a $200 million renovation two years ago. The stadium is the current home of college football’s Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl game and the Orlando City SC MLB soccer club.
The NFL’s Pro Bowl contract with Hawaii’s tourism authority expires on May 31, and the league can opt out of the agreement, the Bloomberg report states.
The modern day Pro Bowl matches the top players from the AFC and NFC conferences who aren’t participating in the Super Bowl. Since 2014, the teams have been selected by two honorary team captains (each in the Hall of Fame), instead of selecting players from each conference. The players are picked in a televised “schoolyard pick” prior to
The “Pro All-Star Game” was first played in January 1939 in Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. The NFL All-Star Game was played again in Los Angeles in 1940 and in New York and Philadelphia in 1941 and 1942 respectively, but was then put on hiatus due to World War II.
It moved to Hawaii in 1979 and has been played there ever since, aside from 2010 when it went to Miami, Florida, and 2015 when it was hosted in Glendale, Arizona.