Business leaders stress urgency in landing NFL Pro Bowl bid

Central Florida business leaders are urging elected officials to move quickly on a plan to bring the NFL Pro Bowl to Orlando for the next three years.  

On Friday, leaders from the chambers of commerce in Orlando, Kissimmee, Apopka, and Seminole County sent a letter to Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, urging them to move quickly on the proposal. 

The 2017 Pro Bowl would be played at the Citrus Bowl if the plan works out to bring the game to the City Beautiful.   The NFL is in talks with Florida Citrus Sports to bring the league’s all-star game to Orlando next year and maybe for 2018 and 2019.

Supporters say having the Pro Bowl in Orlando would bring millions of dollars into our local economy, and they say the NFL could reach a decision within two weeks on where to play the next game.

Mayor Jacobs has scheduled a workshop on May 10 to discuss the use of tourism tax dollars, which the county and the city might have to pay to the NFL to land the deal.  A staff member for Mayor Jacobs emailed the business group to say she will follow up with them when she returns from an economic trip overseas.

Mayor Dyer responded to the letter today with a statement.  It reads, “I  agree with our business community that we should move quickly and boldly to secure the Pro Bowl for Orlando.  This is also an example of why we should create a sports incentive fund as proposed by the tourism industry.”