“The Pro Bowl is really meant to be open to everyone and the whole idea was to bring more fans to the Pro Bowl and more fans to the stadium than we’ve ever been able to do,” said Frank Supovitz, the NFL’s senior vice president for events. “So economically, we don’t see that being a conflict. We see that as a great positive.”
“There was a perfect storm here,” Supovitz said. “We are in South Florida. Great opportunity to host Pro Bowl players, make their experience tremendous, bring it to more fans who have always supported the Super Bowl and the NFL. Now we’ve got an opportunity for them to come to the stadium and really enjoy something world-class that was previously 6,000 miles away.”
No disrespect intended, Frank, but the Pro Bowl is the opposite of a world class event, and the problem was never that it was 6,000 miles away. Long distances don't explain away the abysmal TV ratings, do they? Never have I had the remote control in my hand and thought, "You know, I'd watch the Pro Bowl, but it's just so far away."
Have we considered that no one watches the Pro Bowl because -- and I know this is crazy -- the Pro Bowl is unwatchable? Maybe Miamians are less burnt out on the Pro Bowl than Hawaiians and more likely to attend because it's a first-time novelty, but it's not like there are hordes of us over here on the east coast saying, "Dammit, bring the Pro Bowl closer! It's not fair!"
You could hold the thing in my front yard, and I'm not sure I'd open the blinds and take a look. Find a way to make it competitive or entertaining, and then we'll see. Until then, please do consider stealing my idea for the flag football tournament. Honestly. Free of charge.