ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The NFL is moving the Pro Bowl from Honolulu to Orlando in 2017, the league announced during an afternoon news conference at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. The NFL's all-star game will be played on Jan. 29, a week before the Super Bowl, and will be televised live at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
The game will be played at Camping World Stadium, formerly the Citrus Bowl. The stadium underwent $200 million in renovations two years ago in hopes of attracting more major sporting events. Orlando beat out Honolulu, Houston and Sydney for the right to host the Pro Bowl.
“Hosting the NFL Pro Bowl is exactly the type of opportunity we had in mind when our community pulled together to invest in the reconstruction of Camping World Stadium," said CEO of Florida Citrus Sports Steve Hogan. "Orlando is the top tourist destination in the country and we look forward to providing players, staff, families, and fans from all levels of football an unforgettable week.”
It was also learned on Wednesday that the Miami Dolphins will be hosting the Atlanta Falcons in Orlando for a preseason game on August 25. The Dolphins tweeted news of the match up as the NFL was making its Pro Bowl announcement. Dolphins season ticket members and Florida Citrus Sports members will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets during an exclusive pre-sale on Monday, June 6, at 10 a.m. ET. The public on-sale will be on Thursday, June 9 at 10 a.m. ET. Fans can visit www.Dolphins.com for more information.
The league had until Tuesday to notify Honolulu that it would not renew the contract. This will be just the third time since 1979 that the Pro Bowl has not been in Hawaii. It was in Miami in 2010 and Glendale, Arizona, in 2015.
In recent years, the NFL has attempted to ramp up interest in its all-star game. In addition to twice moving its location, the league has shifted the game from being played a week after the Super Bowl to being played the week between the AFC and NFC championship games and the Super Bowl. Select former star players now pick teams, instead of having the traditional AFC-NFC matchup.