Report: Pro Bowl could land in New Orleans this year

The Superdome in New Orleans is a leading candidate to host the 2013 Pro Bowl, if the game is played.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports the issue is on the table for owners at the spring meeting in Atlanta. There has been speculation the league will cancel the all-star game, which hasn’t resembled football very much in recent years.

New Orleans, of course, is the site of the Super Bowl so the league would have both games at the same venue.

"The NFL asked us to hold the date (Jan. 27) some time ago, but we have not had any further discussions with them about whether or not the game will be played in NOLA, or if there is going to be a game at all," Superdome general manager Alan Freeman told the Times-Picayune in an email.

The players want to keep the game and obviously the league would like to see it succeed with strong television ratings. It’s all about the dollars. Every Pro Bowl has been played in Hawaii since 1980 with the exception of the 2010 game, which was played in South Florida, also at the site of that year’s Super Bowl. Players grumbled because they prefer the expenses-paid journey to Honolulu.

The NFL had been getting money from Hawaii to play the game there. We’ll see what shakes out here but it could be a bigger black eye for the NFL if there is no Pro Bowl than an ugly game that doesn’t involve much blocking or physical play like everyone expects.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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