After three years using an "unconferenced" format, the 2017 Pro Bowl will once again find the AFC squaring off against the NFC.
However, it won't be in Honolulu, HI.
Instead, the annual All-Star game will take place in Orlando, FL on Jan. 29 the week before the Super Bowl as the NFL announced a re-imagined Pro Bowl Week to celebrate football at all levels in the following press release:
The NFL will celebrate its brightest stars of today and tomorrow with new PRO BOWL WEEK festivities in 2017 in Orlando. The announcement was made today at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, site of the AFC-NFC team practices and host to unprecedented new youth-focused football activities.
Culminating with the 2017 Pro Bowl game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Sunday, January 29 and televised live at 8 PM ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, PRO BOWL WEEK will celebrate all levels of football – from youth to high school to the NFL's best.
*"We are excited to re-imagine the Pro Bowl experience for both fans and players and to celebrate the game of football at all levels," said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. "Collaborating with Disney and ESPN brings us closer to the best in youth and family-focused entertainment. We look forward to working with the city of Orlando and Florida Citrus Sports to create a week-long celebration for football and our fans." *
*Among the highlights of PRO BOWL WEEK: *
*Pro Bowl AFC and NFC practices will be held alongside youth football competitions, activities and fan events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, which annually hosts more than 100 youth sports events, such as the Pop Warner Super Bowl. *
*The 2017 Pro Bowl players will also be able to invite their former youth or high school coach to be a part of the celebrations during the week. Players on the winning Pro Bowl team will receive a grant from the NFL Foundation to support their youth or high school football program. *
The annual USA Football National Conference will take place during the week leading up to the Pro Bowl. USA Football, the sport's national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, leads the largest annual conference of high school and youth football administrators and high school coaches in the United States. More than 650 participants from all 50 states attended USA Football's 2016 National Conference in Indianapolis, addressing coach education, player safety and key trends through inspiring speakers representing youth, high school, collegiate and pro levels.
*The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award winner will be announced during the Pro Bowl as part of a year-long recognition of high school coaches on ESPN. The award honors high school football coaches that display the integrity, achievement, and leadership exemplified by Pro Football Hall of Famer DON SHULA, the winningest coach in NFL history. *
Pro Bowl festivities for youth and their families will take place throughout the week across Orlando, including a Pro Bowl-themed 5k run and a parade of Pro Bowl players in the Magic Kingdom.
The 2017 Pro Bowl will feature a return to the traditional AFC vs. NFC game format following three years using a revised, "unconferenced" format. The NFL's best will once again be in the spotlight as 88 players – 44 from the AFC and 44 from the NFC – are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches.
"Hosting the NFL Pro Bowl is exactly the type of opportunity we had in mind when our community pulled together to invest in the reconstruction of Camping World Stadium. Orlando is the top tourist destination in the country and we look forward to providing players, staff, families, and fans from all levels of football an unforgettable week," said CEO of Florida Citrus Sports Steve Hogan.