NFL Is Replacing Pro Bowl With Skills Competition And Flag Football Game That Will Be Played In Las Vegas

The NFL is bringing some serious changes to the way it handles the Pro Bowl.

According to The Associated Press, the league has decided to replace the Pro Bowl game with a weeklong skills competition and a flag football game.

The new event will eplace the full-contact exhibition game that started in 1951. It will be renamed “The Pro Bowl Games” and will feature AFC and NFC players showcasing their skills in challenges over the week. The 2023 Games will be held in Las Vegas, and the flag football game will take place at Allegiant Stadium on February 5th — a week before the Super Bowl:

Peyton Manning and his Omaha Productions company will help shape programming and promote the event’s content throughout the week. Manning, who was a 14-time Pro Bowler during his Hall of Fame career, will be a part of the coaching staff for flag 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 Associated Press. “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 multiday element. It was overwhelmingly positive both from players as well as from clubs.”

The Pro Bowl made its debut in January of 1951. The first Pro Bowl took place in Los Angeles where it stayed for 21 years before moving to different locations from 1972 to 1980. It then found a longterm home in Hawaii, in which it stayed from 1980 to 2009.

The changes to the way the league handles it’s All-Star game comes after quality of play during the exhibition game has been often criticized. Players, who understandably so, would not give effort due to the concern of getting injured.

A flag football game could increase competition while avoiding potential injuries resulting from tackling, blocking and hitting.