According to various media outlets, the NFL Pro Bowl is returning to Las Vegas in 2023.
While the NFL hasn’t announced the game returning to Las Vegas to the public, there are also reports that the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) board of directors approved spending up to $1.75 million to market around the event.
The Pro Bowl is tentatively scheduled to take place at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. And of course, Nevada sports bettors can engage with the Bowl either online or at a local sportsbook.
The game returning to Las Vegas isn’t much of a surprise. The league was happy with the turnout for both the Pro Bowl and NFL Draft in Las Vegas this year.
An unnamed spokesperson for the NFL says:
“Building on the incredible success of the 2022 Pro Bowl and 2022 draft in Las Vegas, we are thrilled to bring the 2023 Pro Bowl back to the city for the second year and continue our partnership with the LVCVA and the Las Vegas Raiders”
According to the LVCVA, the Pro Bowl had an estimated $54.7 million economic impact on Las Vegas this year. That’s a good return on investment for the LVCVA and could be higher if the league changes Pro Bowl week events next year.
Events from the 2022 Pro Bowl in Las Vegas likely to return
The Pro Bowl drew about 30,000 people to Las Vegas earlier this year to see the event and participate in weeklong experiences. Altogether, more than 56,000 watched the game in person at Allegiant Stadium.
The Pro Bowl is more to the host city than just one event. In addition to the game, the following events took place for the public in Las Vegas during Pro Bowl week:
- Pro Bowl Practice
- Play Football Opening Night
- NFL FLAG Championships
- East-West Shrine Bowl (TV: NFL Network)
- Pro Bowl Skills Showdown (TV: ESPN)
Earlier this year, the Pro Bowl in Las Vegas had 6.69 million viewers spread among ABC, ESPN, and DisneyXD. Viewership for the game next year could be a little higher since it won’t be competing against the Winter Olympics.
NFL Pro Bowl plans to add more programs to attract viewers
While people visited Las Vegas to see the Pro Bowl in person and many more watched the game on TV, it isn’t the most publicly popular NFL game. The 6.69 million viewers were much lower than the average NFL game on TV during the 2021 season.
The 2021 NFL regular season averaged 17.1 million viewers between TV and Digital outlets. The league saw lower Pro Bowl ratings and negative publicity and is planning changes for the Pro Bowl.
Participating players don’t give 100% effort since the game doesn’t matter to their teams or wallet. The lack of hitting and intensity makes the Pro Bowl more of a touch football practice game on TV.
Earlier this year NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL Player Association (NFLPA) discussed the future of the game during their Spring League Meeting.
“I think the conclusion was that the game itself, doesn’t work. And that we needed to find a different way to celebrate our players. Celebrate the fact that, these being our Pro Bowler players, the best players in our league, and give them an opportunity to celebrate that with our fans.
We talked an awful lot about some of the events around the Pro Bowl are really extremely popular, whether it’s the quarterback challenge or some of the other events, so those are things that we’ll probably build on.”
Expect to see the NFL add more programming around the event that would attract viewers on TV and social media.
Goodell mentioned how popular the quarterback challenge is during the Spring meeting.
Adding more interesting content around the game would also give tourists another reason to visit Las Vegas for the NFL’s all-star game.