The City of Houston is bidding to hold the 2017 Pro Bowl in conjunction with the Super Bowl, further complicating Hawaii’s push to retain the game.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the city’s bid for the annual NFL all-star game, which would be held the week before Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium.
Australian media reports have previously said Sydney and Melbourne are also making bids.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, “No decisions have been made on the future of the Pro Bowl. We have received interest from cities in the U.S. and from around the world.”
The Hawaii Tourism Authority has a contract with the NFL for the 2017 game but under terms of the agreement either party may opt out before March 31.
McCarthy said, “We anticipate making a decision this spring.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, Turner recently told a press conference, “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. 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.”
The only two Pro Bowls not held in Aloha Stadium since 1980 were matched with Super Bowls in Glendale, Ariz. (2015) and South Florida (2010).