The Vikings had 10 players earn Pro Bowl berths after the 2009 season and 4 of them – Jared Allen, Heath Farwell, Steve Hutchinson and Adrian Peterson – were healthy enough to make the trip to South Florida the week prior to the Super Bowl and play in the all-star game.
After next season, though, any Vikings who earn Pro Bowl berths and elect to play in the game will have a different itinerary.
The NFL announced on Tuesday that the 2011 Pro Bowl, which will be played a week before Super Bowl XLV, is returning to Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii after leaving the island for the 2010 version. The decision to play the NFL’s All-Star Game the week before the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year follows a significant increase in viewership for the 2010 Pro Bowl, the first Pro Bowl to precede the Super Bowl.
According to the NFL’s release, the 2010 Pro Bowl on ESPN was watched by an average of 12.3 million viewers, the most for a Pro Bowl since 2000 (13.2 million viewers) and a 40 percent increase from the 2009 game (8.8 million viewers). The 12.3 million viewers also marked the largest viewership for an All-Star game in any sport on cable television. The game at Sun Life Stadium in South Florida also attracted the largest Pro Bowl attendance (70,697) in 50 years.
“Playing the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl generated more excitement and interest in the event and also kicked off Super Bowl week in an innovative new way,” said Frank Supovitz, the NFL’s senior vice president of events. “We are pleased to return to the State of Hawaii, which has embraced the Pro Bowl for 30 years.”
The Pro Bowl’s return to Hawaii, where it had been held consecutively from 1980 to 2009, is part of a two-year agreement between the NFL and the state of Hawaii to play the 2011 and 2012 games there.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Heath Farwell, Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson
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