Maui Sports

NFL Pro Bowl Returning to the 50th State in 2014

March 20, 2013, 10:36 AM HST
* Updated March 20, 10:39 AM
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Pro-Bowl-logoBy Rodney S. Yap

The NFL Pro Bowl is returning to Hawaii.

“We are planning and will play a game in Hawaii next year,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday, March 20, at the NFL annual owners meetings in Phoenix that the much-debated game will continue for at least another year, but under a new format.

NFL.com reports the game will continue to be played the week before the Super Bowl. Goodell said the site of future games could change, but Hawaii is expected to at least remain part of a rotation of sites.

With the exception of 2010, the game has been held at Aloha Stadium since 1980.

The NFL Pro Bowl is expected to return to Hawaii in 2014. File photo by Associated Press.

The NFL Pro Bowl is expected to return to Hawaii in 2014. File photo by Associated Press.

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Goodell said the NFL’s contract for the game to get played at Aloha Stadium is only for 2014 but he expects the Pro Bowl will “continue to be in Hawaii on some sort of rotational basis.”

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Serious conversations have taken place about canceling the Pro Bowl altogether in the last couple of year. The game, however, continues to draw strong television ratings and is popular among players because of the all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii that often doubles as a working vacation.

Under Goodell’s new idea, players would still be voted onto the Pro Bowl roster, but then the teams would be selected by the two captains. It’s unknown how the captains would be selected, but the obvious method would be the two top vote-getters.

Goodell mentioned the concept of captains choosing teams, according to NFL.com. Goodell imagined, for instance, Peyton Manning choosing one team and Eli Manning choosing another.

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Other changes might be coming in the monetary payout structure. Goodell noted that the players had a “positive effort” in 2013 after 2012’s lackluster game. But Goodell is making no promises about the game’s future.

“The answer going forward will be again if some of these changes are effective and positive and lead to a better event, we’ll continue to find ways to make this game better and more popular with our fans,” Goodell said. “Ultimately, that’s what we’re looking for.”

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