The NFL and NFLPA put out a press release on Wednesday to advise that the league’s Pro Bowl would continue this January. There had long been speculation that the decision would be made to cancel the annual game for a variety of reasons.
The game still drew 12.5 million viewers in 2011, so public interest remained strong (despite loud protests to the contrary). However, growing concerns over player safety, players’ apathy toward the game (a large number of no-shows) and the ever-growing lawsuit filed against the league by former players were seen as potential obstacles to the game’s survival.
Of course, the absence of this postseason game would eliminate some sizable bonus checks and take away a schmoozing opportunity with sponsors. Follow the dollars.
The game will be played on January 27th in Hawaii before the league’s focus shifts back to Super Bowl festivities in New Orleans.