The NFL hasn’t officially announced the Pro Bowl will move a week before the Super Bowl and to South Florida from Honolulu in 2010, but tourism officials say they’ve been told to plan for the possibility.
The Associated Press reported the news Monday. The NFL, which has a contract to play in Hawaii through the 2009 game, said the decision hadn’t been made yet.
"Plans for future Pro Bowls are not final, but we have stated publicly several times that we are giving strong consideration to moving the Pro Bowl to the week before the Super Bowl,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “We also have been exploring playing future Pro Bowls at the site of the Super Bowl as well as in Honolulu, host of the Pro Bowl since 1980.”
With South Florida already gearing up to host its 10th Super Bowl in 2010, the possibility of a Pro Bowl at Dolphin Stadium, too, is welcome news. Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau President Nicki Grossman said the Pro Bowl could mean an additional $150 million for local businesses on top of the impact from the Super Bowl.
“We were told to prepare to have venues and hotels available for a first-ever since 1980 move out of Hawaii by the Pro Bowl. We are ready, willing, able, excited and determined to make this a spectacular two weeks of great football in South Florida,” Grossman said. “We have huge beach shoes to fill. Hawaii has been a consummate host. We’ve got a go a long way to go to match that experience, but we are certainly a place that can do that.”
Grossman called the idea of NFL converging on South Florida for both events, “an opportunity to take a one-week spectacular and turn it into a two-week spectacular.”