The Pro Bowl is going to Disney World.
After a decades-long partnership with Hawaii, the NFL is bringing its annual all-star game to Orlando, Florida, as part of a multiyear agreement beginning in 2017, a person with knowledge of the announcement confirmed Tuesday. Executives from the NFL, Disney and ESPN (which is owned by Disney) and local politicians will be on hand for a press briefing Wednesday to announce the news.
The league has tried to promote interest in the game, as well as make the event more competitive, in recent years and has tried rules changes and an occasional venue switch. The event has been held almost exclusively in Hawaii since 1979, although the 2009 Pro Bowl was played in south Florida and the 2013 event in Phoenix. The game, which had previously been played a week after the Super Bowl, is now held the week before the title game.
It is uncertain whether the league will change the current format of the game. Since 2013, the NFL scrapped the AFC vs. NFC roster matchup, instead going to a system where renowned former players, most recently Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin, picked their own teams.