NFL Pro Bowl may come to Indy

December 30, 2008
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probowlIndianapolis appears to be in the running to host the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl. Today, league officials confirmed they are moving the 2010 Pro Bowl to Miami, the Super Bowl host city that year. The 2010 Pro Bowl will be played the week before the Super Bowl, and the same could be done here in 2012.

“Plans for future Pro Bowls are not final, but we have stated publicly several times that we are giving strong consideration to moving the Pro Bowl to the week before the Super Bowl,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “We also have been exploring playing future Pro Bowls at the site of the Super Bowl as well as in Honolulu.”

The Pro Bowl has been played in Honolulu since 1980, and officials there are fighting to get it back after 2010. But Dallas officials, including Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, are already launching an offensive to get the Pro Bowl in 2011, the same year Dallas hosts the Super Bowl. Indianapolis officials might do likewise when this city hosts the Super Bowl in 2012.

“My understanding is, 2010 is going to be an experiment,” said Allison Melangton, CEO of Indianapolis’ Super Bowl host committee. “Naturally, we would welcome it. We feel it would bring extra attention to the city, and since we would have all the infrastructure in place for the Super Bowl, I feel we could do it pretty seamlessly. I don’t want to say hosting the Pro Bowl would be easier, but since we have all the plans and processes in place, it would be easier.”

According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Pro Bowl has brought $30.6 million in direct spending and tax income to the local host city’s economy. While that pales to the more than $200 million in direct spending the Super Bowl brings, it would still be a nice addition, and put the host city in a national spot light for more than a week. Last year's Pro Bowl was watched by about 7 million TV households nationwide.

In addition to bringing in extra bucks to the city, Melangton said the Pro Bowl would be the perfect test run before the larger Super Bowl crowd descended on Indianapolis.
  • I assume that playing the Pro Bowl the week before the Super Bowl would mean that the star players from those SB teams would not participate for fear of injury?
  • Certainly having the probowl the week before brings in lots of people for extra days, but I'd make the pro-bowl on Saturday afternoon of SB weekend with the SuperBowl moved to Monday night.
    Maybe on Sunday they can revive the SuperStars Competition! or NFL players doing the Punt Pass and Kick!
  • Players from SB teams wouldn't play, but there would still be plenty of talent at the Pro Bowl. Additionally, the $30M that the game brings in revenue for Hawaii would probably increase due to location. It is pretty difficult to get to Hawaii for the game a week after the SB.

    If the Pro Bowl is in the host city, people going to the SB may come a few days earlier than planned and spend additional money in the host city. I think the potential is greater than $30M so I am 100% in favor of having the SB city host the Pro Bowl. I'm sure that all hotel and restaurant managers are in favor as well.
  • This would be great for Indy. I hope the ICVA is making calls to the NFL as we speak. Too big an opportunity not to make a serious play for.
  • My only concern is that this might expose Indy a bit -- if the people and the press come for the Pro Bowl, what do they do Monday-Friday? In Phoenix or Miami or New Orleans, there's bars, beaches, golf, etc. Here? Not so much and I hope that the planners have ideas. Detroit got shelled by this and the press wasn't there the full week.

    Thanks for a great 2008, Anthony. Good luck with The Score next year.
  • Indy is going to have a full slate of things for visitors to do. We may not have beaches, but neither does Phoenix, Dallas or New Orleans. For that matter, it was too cold to swim in Jacksonville. We will have a full array of events for visitors. And we will have something that most do not. The ability to have most events within walking distance and the ability to host those events rain or shine, ice of no ice. Atlanta screwed up their superbowl when they had an ice storm and no plans to deal with it. Same can easily happen in Dallas. In Indy, a heavy snow or ice storm would not affect most events. Miami in '06 will be remembered as the monsoon. The rich and connected will not soon forget sitting in heavy traffic waiting to try to get to events, then having to sit through heavy rains for the game. Neither will happen here.
  • Forgot to add that I am sure the two local racinos along with the riverboats will probably have frequent junkets to their casinos. I doubt there are too many Superbowl sites that have racinos within 20 minutes of the Superbowl site and full casinos less than 2 hours.
  • Indyman,
    The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL is only a 15 minute drive from Dolphins Stadium (Miami). And there is also a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is Tampa as well. Both casinos are on Seminole land... so, they can do it (rest of Florida, it is illegal on land... plenty of day cruises from the ports for gambling though). Those are the only two cities I know... but both are now full scale casinos, and a well known brand. Granted, I would love to see the Pro Bowl here along with the Super Bowl in 2012... but thought I would point that out, since you said you doubted there were too many sites with casinos in close proximity. I can't speak for the other cities in the US, but those two Florida cities I know.
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