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Pro Bowl heads to Vegas in 2021

After the 2020 NFL Draft was remote instead of Las Vegas because of COVID-19, the league said they would find a way to make it up to the city. So one of the ways is to bring the NFL’s all-star game to the Sin City.

On Tuesday, the league announced that the 2021 Pro Bowl would be played in Allegiant Stadium, the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders. The game will take place on January 31, a week before the Super Bowl.

Throughout the week, not only will the Pro Bowl be played, but they will feature various activities in Las Vegas including the NFL FLAG Championship games, AFC and NFC team practices and for the fifth consecutive year, Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, where the NFL’s biggest stars from each conference compete in unique tests of their skills.

“The Raiders welcome the NFL Pro Bowl to Allegiant Stadium and to Las Vegas, the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World,” said Raiders president Marc Badain in a press release. “Pro Bowl week is a celebration of the best the NFL has to offer, and there is no better place than Las Vegas to celebrate and honor the league’s biggest stars. The NFL, the LVCVA and the Raiders look forward to a world-class event that will set the standard for future NFL events in Las Vegas.”

Las Vegas will be the 11th different city to host the Pro Bowl since 1950. The previous host cities include Los Angeles, Dallas, Kansas City, Miami, New Orleans, Seattle, Tampa, Honolulu, Glendale, and recently Orlando. After playing the Pro Bowl in Aloha Stadium in Hawaii from 1979-2008, the NFL has moved the all-star game to different locations over the last 12 years. The previous four Pro Bowls have taken place in Orlando at Camping World Stadium.

“We’re appreciative of the NFL’s leadership and commitment to bring the 2021 Pro Bowl to Las Vegas,” said Steve Hill president/CEO of the LVCVA. “We look forward to hosting the best NFL players and their incredible fan base for a weeklong celebration that could only happen in Las Vegas.”

It a little surprising to see the NFL move the Pro Bowl from Orlando to Las Vegas, but it could create new excitement for the game. The Pro Bowl has garnered some interest through the years, but not as much as the NFL would like. Having it in an entertainment market like Las Vegas could attract fans to attend the game and generate viewing interest.

Also, Las Vegas could benefit from having the Pro Bowl there. As with many other mega-cities, COVID-19 has shut things down in Las Vegas, including casinos and hotels. While casinos have recently re-opened, shows and nightclubs have not due to concerns around COVID-19.

Who knows what the world will look like in January, but having the Pro Bowl in Las Vegas is an excellent idea that could potentially benefit the league and the city and surrounding hotels.

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