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Pro Bowl to move to Miami in 2010


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Just heard it on ESPN that they're moving the Pro Bowl to Miami in 2010 the week before the Super Bowl.

AP source: 2010 Pro Bowl will be in Miami

By TIM REYNOLDS ? 32 minutes ago

MIAMI (AP) ? The Pro Bowl will be played one week before the Super Bowl in 2010 and both games will be staged in Dolphin Stadium, a person directly involved in the decision told The Associated Press on Monday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the NFL has not announced the move, but Hawaii's governor and Honolulu's mayor both confirmed the situation later Monday.

"While I am disappointed the Pro Bowl likely will not be played in Hawaii in 2010, I respect the NFL's decision to play the post season all-star game in the same city as the Super Bowl, one week before the Super Bowl, on a one-year test basis," Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle said in a statement.

It's not a new notion to have the game moved up to take place between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. The NFL has discussed it multiple times in recent years, and commissioner Roger Goodell told the AP last month that having the game precede the Super Bowl would avoid a "somewhat anticlimactic" ending to the season.

"Plans for future Pro Bowls are not final, but we have stated publicly several times that we are giving strong consideration to moving the Pro Bowl to the week before the Super Bowl," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "We also have been exploring playing future Pro Bowls at the site of the Super Bowl as well as in Honolulu."

The Pro Bowl has been held in Honolulu since 1980, and it's probable that the game will return to Hawaii after 2010, although not on the permanent basis as has been the case over the past three decades. Lingle said she was hopeful a deal could be struck in time for the 2011 game to return to Honolulu, and the city's mayor, Mufi Hannemann, told The AP that he also is optimistic for eventual Pro Bowls.

"It's not that this comes as a surprise," Hannemann said. "The NFL has made it known for some time now that they were looking for some sort of rotational basis. We just need to get a new agreement with the NFL, whether it's every year or every two years or every three years. The ball's in our court to get that done."

It won't be South Florida's first Pro Bowl: the 1975 game took place in Miami's Orange Bowl, during a period when the site rotated annually.

Barring a schedule change, next season's Pro Bowl will take place Jan. 31, 2010, with the Super Bowl that year on Feb. 7. The league's plan is for players on the AFC and NFC championship squads not to take part in the Pro Bowl.

Miami was awarded the 2010 Super Bowl three years ago, a record 10th time the game will come to the Dolphins' home city. The notion of adding the Pro Bowl to the lineup in South Florida was first discussed several months ago. It's not clear when the final decision was made to move the game.

Hawaii tourism officials have lobbied in recent months to extend the game's current contract, which expires after this season's Pro Bowl, pointing to the fact that it's been sold out every year since moving to Honolulu and generates about $30.5 million in visitor spending and tax revenues.

Lloyd I. Unebasami, the interim CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, told The AP that his organization ? which has been involved in negotiations to extend the contract ? had not yet received anything official from the NFL about the switch.

"We're working toward assuring ourselves that we'll be one of the Pro Bowl stops of the NFL," said Unebasami, adding that his organization is also working on luring international soccer matches to Hawaii in 2010 ? just in case the Pro Bowl isn't there and creates a void in the state's sport-tourism landscape.

Earlier this year, Hawaii's state government released $11 million for lighting and roofing improvements at Aloha Stadium, part of ongoing upgrades designed to refurbish and modernize the aging stadium. State officials have also considered demolishing the facility and building a new stadium.

Losing the Pro Bowl, combined with slowdowns in tourism because of the sluggish economy, is a double-dose of bad news for Honolulu, which estimates that 25,000 people came from out-of-state for Pro Bowls.

"It's not a shock because in talking with the NFL last year and this year, you realize the potential was there that it wouldn't stay in Honolulu forever and ever," said the mayor, Hannemann.

As someone who attends the Pro Bowl every year, I'm devastated by this news. Hawaii is a wonderful location, and right after the Super Bowl was a great time for the game. :cry:

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The last time they played a Super Bowl in Miami, they played in a downpour. Not only are they getting more Super Bowls, now the city gets the Pro Bowl.

Yet, the Georgia Dome and Atlanta gets shafted because of one fluke ice storm (yet the game itself wasn't altered by any weather elements).....

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Aside fro BucFan, I don't know anyone who actively watches or cares about the Pro Bowl. Moving it to the week before the Super Bowl should definitely keep some fans whose interest disappears after the Super Bowl. All that has to be done is not include players from the teams in the Super Bowl, since they'll be too busy prepping for the game and the media.

I don't like the idea of having it in the same city as the Super Bowl, however. Rotating it from Hawaii to other cities is a good idea, and makes it more accessible to other fans, but alternate it from the coast of the host city (Super Bowl is East, Pro Bowl is West, vice versa, etc.)

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Aside fro BucFan, I don't know anyone who actively watches or cares about the Pro Bowl. Moving it to the week before the Super Bowl should definitely keep some fans whose interest disappears after the Super Bowl. All that has to be done is not include players from the teams in the Super Bowl, since they'll be too busy prepping for the game and the media.

I don't like the idea of having it in the same city as the Super Bowl, however. Rotating it from Hawaii to other cities is a good idea, and makes it more accessible to other fans, but alternate it from the coast of the host city (Super Bowl is East, Pro Bowl is West, vice versa, etc.)

Good idea on the east/west thought. That way the field can also stay pristine for the Super Bowl, rather than use it the week before, paint it for the Pro Bowl, and then have to have it ready for media day a few days later.

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The location of the game, not a big deal to me. But putting in between the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl is brilliant. I am so much more likely to watch that game in the off week than I am to watch it 2 weeks after the super bowl. Or is it the next week? I don't know, and I don't care now.

But the Super Bowl has always been the end of the season for everyone until the draft unless your name is Mel Kiper. Having the Pro Bowl "during" the season will only help that game.

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It's a good move by the NFL because it'll draw more viewers on television who are anticipating the Super Bowl, including myself.

However, at the same time, it's a bad idea becuase A LOT of players who'll get voted in will elect to sit the game out -- including all players who would be playing the following week in the big game. Therefore a VERY watered-down Pro Bowl.

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First of all no one cares about the guys who played in the Super Bowl because 90% never go to the Super Bowl anymore. I like the idea of putting the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl to give us something to watch in that horrible bye week and really once the Super Bowl is over, I guess except for Bucs fan, no one including the players cares about playing football the week after the Super Bowl.

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Horrible idea! Any players selected from the NFC & AFC champs will opt not to play to avoid injury before the Super Bowl, watered-down indeed.

I do like the posted idea about placing the Pro Bowl on the opposite side of the U.S. (wherever the SB is that year).

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I like this idea.

The week leading up to the Super Bowl usually turns whatever town hosting the event into a media circus anyway. By the time the game arrives, I'm all footballed out. I think part of the problem is that there's only so much one can cover over two teams before it becomes repetitive or just nonsensical.

This actually might work for the players in the ProBowl. Let's be honest, the media really doesn't cover the game anyway. This way all media the world over that's already in town covering the Super Bowl can turn their attention to the game, giving star players who wouldn't otherwise get attention some of the spotlight. It would also give the two teams preparing for the game a bit of a break as some of the all-stars and the the ProBowl itself would siphon off some of the pressure. This would also give people even more reason to go to the host city. You don't have tickets to the ProBowl? No problem, you can still see some of the NFL's best up close. If the NFL really wants the ProBowl to be significant at least among the fans, there should be an interactive/autograph session after the game. I do think it needs to be before the Super Bowl rather than afterward. Really- after the big games played, what's the point to sticking around?

Come to think of it, it might be better to have the game the Friday before the Super Bowl rather than the week before. I say that because it seems silly to try to extend the event to more than a week, It could be a weekend long NFL extravaganza, and would give the stadium 48 hours to touch up the field before the big show. This would also give players who were on the losing end of the conference championships 2 weeks to prep for the ProBowl too. The only players not participating would be those in the Super Bowl, and under the circumstances I believe their fans would understand. Besides, players get bonuses for being selected to the ProBowl, not actually playing in them.

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Horrible idea! Any players selected from the NFC & AFC champs will opt not to play to avoid injury before the Super Bowl, watered-down indeed.

I do like the posted idea about placing the Pro Bowl on the opposite side of the U.S. (wherever the SB is that year).

Did you actually read the article, or any of the posts in this thread prior to commenting?

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I do like the posted idea about placing the Pro Bowl on the opposite side of the U.S. (wherever the SB is that year).

The only problem (and frankly it's the same problem they have now with putting the game in Honolulu every year) is logistics - being a league-run event, for decades the NFL's been splitting its resources between the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl. By doing it this way they can save money, have their staffs for each event in the same place, and better coordinate their resources.

Plus it's another event for the SB host city, generating more revenue for it and therefore making more cities apt to place bids. Finally, the NFL will be able to engage its marketing machine to an even greater extent, essentially billing the two weeks before the Super Bowl as a festival of football. From a purely business perspective, it's nothing short of brilliant.

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I do like the posted idea about placing the Pro Bowl on the opposite side of the U.S. (wherever the SB is that year).

The only problem (and frankly it's the same problem they have now with putting the game in Honolulu every year) is logistics - being a league-run event, for decades the NFL's been splitting its resources between the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl. By doing it this way they can save money, have their staffs for each event in the same place, and better coordinate their resources.

Plus it's another event for the SB host city, generating more revenue for it and therefore making more cities apt to place bids. Finally, the NFL will be able to engage its marketing machine to an even greater extent, essentially billing the two weeks before the Super Bowl as a festival of football. From a purely business perspective, it's nothing short of brilliant.

Especially when they cancel it in 5 years due to lack of interest. :P

Which strikes me as being the real reason to do this.

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If that's the case, why not go ahead and kill it now?

IAWTP. All-star games are relics of a day and age where the only way to see all the stars at once was the all-star game. Now with satellite TV packages and the Internet, you can see all your favorite players without having to assemble them in one spot. *Must remember to use this rant when talking about the NBA and NHL games as well.*

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