After what appeared to be some very serious consideration by the NFL to cancel the 2013 Pro Bowl which followed earlier unenthusiastic comments as to the value of the state's investment in the game by Hawaii's Governor Neil Abercrombie in June of last year, the NFL and NFL Players Association announced yesterday that the 2013 Pro Bowl will return to Hawaii for the 33rd time and be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. EST (2:00 p.m. HST). The game will be televised on NBC.
There was much discussion following this January's game about the quality of play. Anyone who watched the game could see that players were not playing with anywhere near the intensity that is seen during the regular season. The game was also impacted by the fact that none of the all-stars from the two teams competing in the following week's Super Bowl (Giants versus Patriots) were in attendance for the game.
Oddly, however, the game remains the most-watched of all of the major sport all-star games, with 12.5 million viewers in 2012.
The decision to continue to Pro Bowl was due, in large part, to the wishes of the players to continue to play the game in Hawaii and the NFL Players Association has pledged to work with the players to improve the quality of play.
Considering that the average thirty-second ad for this year's Super Bowl sold for $3.5 million, the State of Hawaii's $4 million investment in the game seems well worth the money. For almost four hours, Hawaii gets lots of publicity and numerous wonderful shots of Honolulu and Waikiki showing the players enjoying their week prior to the game. That is not to mention the economic impact for hotels, resorts, restaurants and activity providers who all benefit from having the players, coaches, their families, friends and the media in Hawaii for a week.