Signage for the NFL Pro Bowl is seen at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Chase Stevens | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Good pictures
The NFL said it would eliminate the Pro Bowl in favor of a week’s worth of skill competitions and a flag football game.
In what is now known as “The Pro Bowl Games”, players from both conferences will showcase their football and non-football talents in a week-long competitive event, replacing the all-contact Pro Bowl game that began in 1951.
The multi-day event will take place in February in Las Vegas and will conclude with a flag football game at Allegiant Stadium where the Las Vegas Raiders will play.
In past years, the Pro Bowl has often been hit with criticism that players don’t play at their best to avoid injuries. Last year, the NFL extended its regular season by one game. The NFL is trying to boost flag football as a growing part of the company’s future.
Associated Press First reported Monday news.
Earlier this year, Leek said It aimed to grow its international business to $1 billion annually. As part of that, the NFL is pushing for flag football to be added to the Summer Olympics with the goal of starting in 2028.
Last summer, the NFL partnered with the U.S. Soccer International Federation to bring flag football, “The World Games,” an international event that showcases non-Olympic sports, to Birmingham, Alabama.
The league said in a release Monday that flag football is a “growing focus for the organization” and “an important part of the NFL’s participation and development strategy, due to its highly accessible and inclusive qualities.” Flag football will be integrated into other parts of the multi-day event.
The weekly schedule and other details will be released later in the football season, the league said.
Disney’s broadcast network, ABC, and its cable channel, ESPN, will air the flag football game on Feb. 5, and the NFL said it is working with other partners to program the days of the contests.
Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions will have skin in the game as it helps shape programming throughout the week, the NFL said in a release. Manning will be on the coaching staff for the flag football game.
Manning and his brother Eli, retired NFL quarterbacks, enjoyed success as co-hosts of the alternate “Monday Night Football” broadcast for ESPN2.
– CNBC Jessica Golden contributed to this report.
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