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Pro Bowl might not be played next year

April 27, 2012
By BARRY WILNER , The Associated Press

NEW YORK - The NFL may suspend the Pro Bowl next year, two people familiar with discussions said Thursday.

League commissioner Roger Goodell, among others, expressed concerns about the quality of play after January's all-star game at Aloha Stadium, and the NFL has been holding talks with the players' union about the future of the contest.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were not being publicized.

In response to an ESPN report that Goodell is "strongly considering" suspending the game in 2013, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said: "No determination has been made yet."

Each year, many players chosen for the game bow out, and if the Pro Bowl is held before the Super Bowl, players from the conference champions don't participate.

Though television viewership dropped 8.1 percent in January, the Pro Bowl was the highest-rated sports program of that weekend. Still, the game isn't considered a money maker - one factor is cost, particularly when played in Hawaii.

NFL Players Association president Domonique Foxworth tweeted Thursday: "The Pro Bowl is an important tradition we are in talks with the league to improve and preserve the game for our players and fans."

Aloha Stadium hosted the game from 1980 until 2010, when it was moved to Miami and played the week before the Super Bowl. The NFL said a more modern stadium was needed in Hawaii, but the Pro Bowl returned to Honolulu in 2011.

"We understand that the suspension of the Pro Bowl is a possibility," Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Mike McCartney said in a statement. "However, we are still in discussions with the NFL about the possibility of holding the event here in the Hawaiian Islands. We feel the Pro Bowl and Hawaii are a perfect fit and believe that holding the Pro Bowl in the Hawaiian Islands would be a good thing for our visitor industry and the state."

 
 

 

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