Over the years, the Pro Bowl has lost prominence, and the NFL is already thinking about the next strategy for the exhibition game. But, just like how the best online casino highlights the best gambling options, the Pro Bowl was designed to highlight the best in the NFL.
According to information from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, during the annual owners’ meeting held recently in Atlanta, owners discussed removing the Bowl of Professionals and replacing it with a display of skills. The NFL even considers that a flag (contactless) football game could be an alternative solution.
Pro Bowl Agonies
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler stated that the league hopes to have a pro-bowl solution in the summer. The decision will come after consultation with players and TV partners. The decision could be a consequence of the 2022 edition of the Pro Bowl registering an average audience of 6.69 million people. This was the smallest audience since 2006.
The first all-star game of the American football league took place in 1939, but with the title of Pro Bowl, it has been held almost uninterrupted since 1971 in alternate venues. However, between 1980 and 2016, it was played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, as a regular venue.
The only exceptions were between 1943 and 1950 and again in 2020. That year, it was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That year, determined to hold some type of Pro Bowl, the league used a virtual format similar to the Madden NFL video game.
However, fans have lost interest in the game, and many players have chosen not to attend the engagement. This is despite the fact that for 2022 the league offered a bag of $80,000 to the winners and $40,000 to the losing team.
The haste for a more attractive format that doesn’t open the possibility of injury to players is based on low viewer ratings. The latest game, which resulted in the AFC beating the NFC, attracted under seven million viewers.
More Than Just Another Game
Since it began, the NFL All-Star Game has undergone a number of modifications in both venue and format. The game has been joined by activities during the previous week in which players can show their talent and skills in front of spectators.
For the past few years, the battle between the American and National Conferences has taken place at a lower rate than a regular-season game. The AFC has won 26 of the 48 Pro Bowl games, while the NFC has taken the rest.
This is, by design, an effort to protect the players. However, it has also led to the lost viewership. After testing several alternatives to boost the ratings, which didn’t meet expectations, the Pro Bowl reverted to its original game plan.
Until 2009, the Pro Bowl was played after the Super Bowl. A year later, however, it began to be played before the Big Game.
More Input Needed
In the last decade, the Pro Bowl has faced many problems. Players who will play in the Super Bowl can not be available, while others have preferred to “get off the boat” for fear of injury.
Therefore, in recent editions, it has been played with a lot of displeasure, an issue that has been claimed by many fans. As a result, the NFL has asked both franchises, coaches, and players about the possibility of eliminating it or changing its format.
The league likes the idea of sticking to a series of individual and team activities and challenges. These have been attractive to both athletes and viewers over the years and could prove to be a viable alternative to the Pro Bowl.
However, it needs to come up with a solution quickly. The season is approaching quickly, and the league is still recovering from COVID-19. It needs to make a decision soon if it hopes to avoid spending millions of dollars on a game that won’t deliver any rewards.
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