There was talk that the NFL would suspend their annual Pro Bowl game indefinitely last month, but the league has decided to give it one more go after players promised to make the game more competitive.
According to ESPN.com, the 2013 Pro Bowl will take place in Honolulu next January 27, a week before the Super Bowl. It will be played at Aloha Stadium, who hosts for the third straight year.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had previously said there was the possibility of cancelling the annual All-Star Game, after witnessing the uninspired play of this year’s 59-41 AFC victory.
Following discussions between the league and the players’ union, the NFL announced Wednesday (May 30) that the league will return to Hawaii for its 33rd Pro Bowl.
“The players have made it clear through the NFL Players Association that they would like the opportunity to continue to play the Pro Bowl in Hawaii,” said NFL executive vice president Ray Anderson. “We will support the players on this initiative to improve the Pro Bowl. We have had many discussions with the players in recent years about the Pro Bowl and they recognize that the quality of the game has not been up to NFL standards.
“We look forward to working with the players toward the goal of improving the competitiveness of this season’s game.”
The Pro Bowl was held in Hawaii from 1980-2009. In 2010, the NFL moved the game to the week before the Super Bowl for the first time, and it was held in Miami, the site of the Super Bowl that year.
It returned to Hawaii for the 2011 and 2012 games, but remained one week before the Super Bowl.
“The players believe that the Pro Bowl is an important tradition,” NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth said. “We worked hard with the league to make sure the best players in the NFL are honored for their achievements on the field.”
The 2012 Pro Bowl game, in January, boasted strong TV ratings of 12.5 million viewers, making the Pro Bowl the most watched of all All-Star games for the 2011 season, but the lack of intensity drew criticism from all sides.
This year’s game will be broadcast live on NBC at 7 p.m. ET and serve as the kickoff event for the Super Bowl, which will be played Feb. 3 in New Orleans.