Written by Adrian Beecher
Orlando, FL - The NFL Pro Bowl officially has a new home in Sunny Orlando, Florida, moving from its original home of Honolulu, Hawaii. NFL Senior VP of Events Peter O’Reilly, along side Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, FCS CEO Steve Hogan and NFL legend Charles Woodson made the announcement on Wednesday at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.
This is the first time that the Pro Bowl will be played on the mane land since January of 2015 when the game was held at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Before that, the last time was in 2010, when it took place in Miami Florida along side Super Bowl XLIV. In fact, since the NFL Pro Bowl switched to the AFC vs NFC format in 1971, 35 out of the 46 games have been played at Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii.
The past three years the Pro Bowl has had a draft format, where former players select their teams from the best 88 players in the league. Now that the Pro Bowl has found a new home, they will be switching back to the AFC vs NFC format with 44 players from each conference getting to participate.
There are some new components that have been added to Pro Bowl week with its move to Orlando. A big one is that NFL players that get selected for the Pro Bowl will be able to bring their youth coaches out to be celebrated during the week.
“All 88 Pro Bowl players will have the opportunity to invite either their youth or High School coach and a guest to join them at the Pro Bowl and be celebrated throughout the week here in Orlando. These are the coaches who set them on their way to be Pro Bowlers. And having them here and having them celebrated throughout the week is an exciting new component.” Said NFL VP of Fan Strategy and Marketing Peter O’Reilly.
In addition, the event will be a weeklong celebration of football at all levels of the game. With practices for the ACF and NFC taking place at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, which will also have a festival atmosphere and will have youth football components on site. (More Details to be released in the near future by the NFL.)
There will also be a Pro Bowl 5k that will take place, and the NFL players that are selected to the game will be going on a Parade in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
Also the teams now have a new incentive that has been added to the game. Players from the winning team will receive a donation from the NFL Foundation that will support their youth or high school program back in their community.
With the Pro Bowl’s move to Orlando, Florida Citrus Sports has continued to topple expectations and achieve their goals that they wanted to accomplish with the newly renovated Camping World Stadium.
FCS CEO Steve Hogan expressed his excitement of acquiring the Pro Bowl to come to Orlando after Wednesdays presser, “This is what we dreamed of, this is what we hoped for. So to see this day actually come to culmination, I hope the fans of NFL Football or just major event sports in Orlando are celebrating with us. It’s a culture of life thing and we are just ecstatic.”
Kickoff of the 2017 Pro Bowl will be on Sunday January 29th at 8pm ET at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida on ESPN & ESPN Deportes.
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