Pro Bowl will be in Arizona for 2015, return to Hawaii in 2016

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 Pro Bowl will be played in Arizona, not Hawaii, the NFL announced Wednesday. This is big news.

The NFL Pro Bowl will take a hiatus from Hawaii in 2015. The NFL announced Wednesday that next year's game will be held in Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, the regular home of the Arizona Cardinals and the site of Super Bowl XLIX the following week. The Pro Bowl has been held annually at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu since 1980, though the 2010 game was played at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

The fact that the Pro Bowl was held in Hawaii was one of the event's saving graces. The game itself is usually of middling quality (to put it kindly), but shots of the locale and coaches in Hawaiian shirts at least lent a festive atmosphere to the proceedings. It remains to be seen whether Glendale has the same charm, but seriously, who cares? It's the Pro Bowl.

Those mourning the game's location change can take heart that it is expected to return to Aloha Stadium for 2016, though final confirmation is pending. There is no word yet where the Pro Bowl is headed after 2016, but unless moving the game significantly improves ratings, then it's a safe bet that the game will remain in Honolulu.

The official date for the 2015 Pro Bowl is Sunday, Jan. 25, one week ahead of the Super Bowl set to be played in Arizona on Feb. 1. The Pro Bowl has been played at the same site as the Super Bowl two other times: in 1967 at the Los Angeles Coliseum and the aforementioned 2010 Pro Bowl in Miami.

The Pro Bowl will retain the format it implemented this past season, which did away with the traditional AFC vs. NFC lineups and instead pitted two mixed-conference squads selected playground-style by honorary coaches Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice.

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