The NFL is considering Brazil as a possible host for the 2017 Pro Bowl, according to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports. It would mark the first time the Pro Bowl would be held outside the country and is yet another new location for the league's annual all-star game instead of the traditional spot in Honolulu, Hawaii, where the game will again be played in 2016.
The Pro Bowl was held in Phoenix, Arizona this past season, the same city where Super Bowl XLIX took place. But it's clear the league wants to change up the location of the Pro Bowl and keep it from being played in the same spot each year.
The game was played annually in Honolulu's Aloha Stadium from 1979-2008. It was moved to Miami's Sun Life Stadium in 2009, then went back to Honolulu four straight seasons before moving to Phoenix in 2015. But TV ratings and interest from the players have declined in recent years, and the league is hoping a new location could help bring more attention to the game:
There are several reasons Brazil is under consideration as the first non-U.S. site for the Pro Bowl. The NFL has drawn growing interest in that South American country from a television viewership and participation standpoint, which appeals to a league looking to expand its international interests.
The NFL also believes Brazil could hold allure to participating players as an exotic locale and unique experience.
As Marvez mentioned, luring NFL players to the Pro Bowl could be a key reason why the league wants to change the location. Every year, many players named to the Pro Bowl end up declining the invite, which ultimately waters down the game.
In the 2015 Pro Bowl, there were so many quarterbacks dropping out that the Bengals' Andy Dalton was selected as an alternate. He threw 19 touchdowns and 17 interceptions with a QB rating of 83.5 in 2014, far from what's considered worthy of a Pro Bowl selection.
Brazil will also host the Olympics in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, which could help make it more appealing as the site for the Pro Bowl the following year.