For many Pro Bowlers, the promise of a week-long vacation in Hawaii is the only incentive to playing in a meaningless game.
And next year, they might not even have that.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Houston is bidding to add the 2017 Pro Bowl in addition to next year’s Super Bowl hosting duties.
“The Pro Bowl has historically been held in Hawaii, but I know the NFL is trying to consolidate their Super Bowl experience with the Pro Bowl,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “They’d like them to be held in the same city. It just makes it much easier for everybody who’s traveling who’s affiliated with the city and the Super Bowl. It’s a possibility. It would be ideal if it could happen.
“There are some conversations. We’re making a major push to bring all of the major events to the city of Houston, just like the Final Four.”
The Pro Bowl has been on the mainland twice in recent years, serving as a lead-in to Super Bowls in Phoenix and Miami.
And it’s interesting that the mayor cited the NFL’s desire to consolidate the game, as much as the usual promises of economic impact. While it’s not as tropical as Hawaii, linking the game with the Super Bowl does create an extra boost of attention for the game, which could counteract the lack of boat drinks at poolside for players who might otherwise not attend.
A league spokesman said a decision on the site of next year’s Pro Bowl was expected this spring. Hawaii will bid for the game again, and Brazil is under consideration as well.