NFL takes Pro Bowl Games back to Orlando

Featured image credit: Camping World Stadium

The National Football League (NFL) has announced that its Pro Bowl Games, the revamped version of its all-star event, will return to Orlando’s Camping World Stadium next year.

The multi-day American Football Conference (AFC) vs National Football Conference (NFC) event will feature new and returning skills challenges, where 88 of the league’s top players showcase their on-field and off-field skills in unique competitions, and culminate in flag football at Camping World Stadium on February 4, 2024.

As a result of feedback from players, teams and fans, the NFL reimagined the Pro Bowl as the Pro Bowl Games last year, introducing an entirely new format that featured a mix of live and taped skills competitions and spotlighted flag football as a critical part of the sport’s future.

The 2023 Pro Bowl Games in Las Vegas garnered 6.4 million viewers across Disney, ESPN, ABC, Disney XD and digital and more than 58,000 in-person fans at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, up 16% from the previous year. The skills challenges on Thursday averaged 1.06 million viewers on ESPN in primetime, up 23% for the program the year before, and social video views from Sunday’s event were up over 16% from last year.

“Building off the success from last year’s reinvented format that elevated flag football and introduced fun forms of competition and entertainment, we are thrilled to bring the 2024 Pro Bowl Games to Orlando,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL executive vice-president of club business and league events.

“Hosting multiple Pro Bowls in years past, Orlando is a world-class destination and a favourite getaway for our players and their families, and we look forward to working with the city of Orlando and Florida Citrus Sports to create the ultimate all-star celebration for players, their families and our fans.”

Orlando’s Camping World Stadium hosted four consecutive Pro Bowl competitions in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, before the event relocated to Allegiant Stadium. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer yesterday (Tuesday) said securing the Pro Bowl Games reinforces the value of Camping World Stadium, as local authorities continue to spend Tourist Development Tax dollars on the stadium and other venues.

“There’s no doubt Orlando is the country’s premier destination for neutral site games and major events, and there’s no bigger show you can bring to town than the NFL,” said Florida Citrus Sports CEO, Steve Hogan.

“Our community has done an amazing job ensuring our facilities remain in NFL-ready condition for opportunities just like this, and I can’t wait to see what the Pro Bowl Games have in store.”

The Pro Bowl debuted in 1951 and was held in Los Angeles for 21 seasons before moving to different cities from 1972 to 1980. Hawaii then hosted the game for 29 seasons but over the past decade it has rotated around different cities.