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NFL considers suspending Pro Bowl

The league is talking to the players' union about how to improve and preserve the game

By Star-Advertiser staff and news services

LAST UPDATED: 01:37 a.m. HST, Apr 27, 2012

Have NFL fans seen the last of the Pro Bowl?

The game could be suspended next year, two people familiar with discussions said Thursday.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, among others, expressed concerns about the quality of play after January's game in Honolulu, and the league has been holding talks with the players' union about the future of the all-star game.

Responding 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."

Goodell said before the Super Bowl in February he was unhappy with what he saw in the AFC's 59-41 win in the Pro Bowl -- a game that often resembled touch football.

Many players chosen for the game bow out, and if the Pro Bowl is held before the Super Bowl, as it was during the past three years, players from the conference champions don't participate.

San Francisco 49ers chief executive Jed York questioned his followers on Twitter about their feeling toward the Pro Bowl, then concluded later that there "Doesn't seem to be much love" in the responses.

The game still draws solid TV ratings, but isn't considered a money maker. Although viewership dropped 8.1 percent in January, the Pro Bowl still was the highest-rated sports program of the weekend.

Hawaii began hosting the game in 1980 and it was held here annually until 2010, when it moved to Miami and was played the week before the Super Bowl. The game returned to Hawaii in 2011.

"We understand that the suspension of the Pro Bowl is a possibility," Mike McCartney, chief executive of the Hawaii Tourism Authority said in a statement.

"However, we are still in discussions with the NFL about the possibility of holding the event here."

The tourism authority, which generates revenue from a tax on hotel rooms, has been paying the NFL $4 million to bring the game to the islands. The authority touts the $25 million Pro Bowl visitors spend during their stay. It also values the advertising it gets when the nation sees sun-soaked players running across the field in the middle of winter.

» Hawaii News Now video: NFL may suspend 2013 Pro Bowl

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Hank13 wrote:
The Pro/Let's not hurt each other Bowl needs Hawaii more than we need them. Previous reports said the tax revenue was less than the 4mil$ spent. They should pay us to come here and if they don't then let them cancel it. Come on McCartney, grow some.
on April 27,2012 | 03:52AM
Toneyuki wrote:
What report. Link please.
on April 27,2012 | 12:02PM
Hank13 wrote:
on April 27,2012 | 06:48PM
Toneyuki wrote:
OIC you made it up.
on April 27,2012 | 09:43PM
poidragon wrote:
another fool and his money parting ways! The NFL is playing fast and loose with the Pro bowl and will have to reckon with it's fans on how they conduct their business if they want to stay in business! The one thing the NFL owners do not really understand is that they need the crowds to fill the stands; no crowds, means no revenues to pay for those expensive arena's they have built all over the place. So go right ahead and take the Pro Bowl out of Hawaii, the State of Hawaii will survive and find different opportunities to replace it with and get by just fine! Oh, yea, Hey Neil; it looks like you get your wish after all, 'No more Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium,' so you better make good on that promise you made of 'bringing in more taxes through that 'Civil Unions' bill you passed, cuz we the voting public are gonna hold you to your word!
on April 28,2012 | 12:39AM
ya_think wrote:
Want to see them play like they mean it's easy to do just make it winner take all, last year the winner got 40,000 the loser got 20,000. So for a 60,000 pay day they might play like they should.
on April 27,2012 | 05:36AM
Locokane wrote:
GREAT - We won't miss the Pro Bowl. Now let's take the $4M that we would have given them out of HTA's budget and move it out to REALLY HELP HI TAXPAYERS including road repairs or meals for the elderly!
on April 27,2012 | 05:48AM
serious wrote:
No great loss--I thought also, that the last game was--aweful--if it weren't for the beer and chips I would have turned it off. It sure turned me off!!
on April 27,2012 | 06:17AM
fka wrote:
Agree! The Pro Bowl has been an embarressment the past several years. Even with my beer,I had to turn it off before the half! The game reminded me of a lousy comedy show. The part that irks me more is these athletes are paid well for playing in this event. The only good that comes from this event is the revenue and free publicity it generates. That part we will miss,but not the game.
on April 27,2012 | 12:35PM
frontman wrote:
Best thing that could happen.......last years game was the biggest farce yet.
on April 27,2012 | 06:31AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Yes, please dump this worthless and expensive venture. It's understandable that the players don't want to jeopardize their careers playing a meaningless game so they need to rethink this "game". I think if they have something like a Pro Bowl week where fans can intermingle with the players, it would be more meaningful but can the game itself.
on April 27,2012 | 06:45AM
Manapua_Man wrote:
The NFL wanting to suspend the game is no surprise. The plan all along was to set the game up for failure and use that as an excuse to end it's run in Hawaii.
on April 27,2012 | 06:57AM
toomuchpilikia wrote:
The NFL today is all about the money. Player and Coach loyalty is no longer a consideration. The NFL is slowly dwindling away due to too many character flaws in participants and management. In the last few years there as been much enthusiasm with college ball. Many fans are now beginning to appreciate the college level. My sincere condolences to the New Orleans Saints fans.
on April 27,2012 | 08:03AM
cocobean wrote:
The Pro B is strictly for entertainment purposes only. The fear of injury has taken most of the competiveness out of the game. The way it's played now the game is ranked somewhere between Westlemania and the Harlem Globe Trotter in terms of pseudo sports entetainment. Having said that I think the game should continue only if it's played in Hawaii. $4mil can't buy the amount of "free" advertising Hawaii gets every time the Pro Bowl is mentioned during the season.
on April 27,2012 | 09:19AM
Hank13 wrote:
Good point. Without the ProBowl, nobody would know anything at all about Hawaii.
on April 27,2012 | 10:19AM
Toneyuki wrote:
It needs to be AFTER the Super bowl like before.
on April 27,2012 | 12:04PM
Manapua_Man wrote:
That would go against the plan to set the Pro Bowl up for failure. By holding the game before the Super Bowl, interest in it would be less. That way, they can declare that the Pro Bowl is not doing well in Hawaii and use that as an excuse to move it back to the continental US.
on April 27,2012 | 11:21PM
808_puhi wrote:
they should bring back the super bowl champs vs. the college all stars football game.it's been years since that game took place,but i think it would interest a lot of fans.plus-we would see if the current college players can hold up against current pros,see if they can handle.
on April 27,2012 | 02:45PM
Papakolea wrote:
Major League baseball has the home run derby and the NBA has the slam dunk contest. NFL should have some types of skill contests where the players don't risk getting hurt but we can still showcase Hawaii.
on April 27,2012 | 05:48PM
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