The Pro Bowl is the NFL version of an all-star game and has been played by the some of the brightest stars out of the NFL since 1951. Recently, the Pro Bowl has drawn some criticism from commentators and fans as losing steam, and many think it needs to be revamped in order to reinvigorate the excitement around it again. The timing puts it the weekend right before the largest football sporting event (you know which one I’m talking about), which doesn’t allow for players who are in that game to attend. The television ratings are pitiful, especially for football. Even the level at which the players participate is dispiriting, as they avoid playing aggressively to bypass a potential injury.
Since 1980, the Pro Bowl has been hosted at the Aloha Stadium in Hawaii, making it a premium destination for fans and players alike. Recently, the NFL announced that the Pro Bowl would be moving to Orlando, Florida in an effort to gain back interest by football fans. While the change of venue is just one component of the “Pro Bowl Makeover,” this is bringing a lot of excitement to the Orlando area.
The game will be hosted at Camping World Stadium, formerly The Citrus Bowl, which went through a $207 million makeover in 2014 and also has proven beneficial for the Orlando community. Since the makeover, the stadium has hosted several Major League Soccer games, international soccer tournaments, a sold-out Rolling Stones concert, and it will be host to Wrestlemania 33 next year. Slowly, Orlando is becoming an ideal host city for sporting events and large arena concerts.
Orlando makes an ideal hosting city for large events like this because it is already designed to accommodate the potential 25,000 – 30,000 visitors that will come in from out of town. Mayor Buddy Dyer said the economic impact will be significant for Orlando, as the week leading up to the Pro Bowl could generate between $60 million and $100 million for the city.
With these sporting events comes several digital marketing opportunities for businesses in the area to reach a new audience through means of appealing to them as sports fans. On Target is certainly excited about all of these new events coming to the Orlando area, as they energize the area and gets people out into local businesses. Who knows? Maybe we will be the next city to be on the short list to host The “Big Game.”