The Pro Bowl, which has been around since 1951, and according to Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press, it will be no more. The league will replace the all-star event with skills competitions, and a flag football game coaches by Peyton Manning, involving Manning’s Omaha Productions, which will help to shape the events, and promote programming through the week.
The skills competitions will take place in Las Vegas, and the flag football game will be held at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Raiders, on Sunday, February 5, 2023.
“The Pro Bowl has always been a time to step back and celebrate the game of football with teammates, fans and family,” Manning said in a statement to the AP. “I’m thankful I can continue to be part of the week as all of us at Omaha Productions work with the NFL to reimagine The Pro Bowl Games. Making Sunday’s game a flag football game is great to see. Youth football has been extremely important to me, and knowing NFL FLAG will help grow this sport, I hope boys and girls can see themselves playing the same game as the best players in the world.”
The idea is to maintain some sense of competition while reducing the potential for injury in an actual tackle football game.
“The Pro Bowl is something that we’ve been looking at for a while, really continuing to evolve,” NFL executive Peter O’Reilly told the AP. “Coming out of last year’s game, we really made the decision based on a lot of internal conversations, getting feedback from GMs and coaches, getting a lot of feedback from players. We think there’s a real opportunity to do something wholly different here and move away from the traditional tackle football game. We decided the goal is to celebrate 88 of the biggest stars in the NFL in a really positive, fun, yet competitive way.
“The feedback very directly from guys who had been in the Pro Bowl recently was to keep the construct of the week, make sure you’re having that multi-day element. It was overwhelmingly positive both from players as well as from clubs.”
Fan voting will drive player participation in the AFC and NFC rosters..