Listen, I love Las Vegas. Fun town. And I appreciate the convention hosting rivalry that it has with Orlando (even though our convention center and accommodations are much much nicer). One sided rivalries don’t exist, so Vegas was due when they won the NFL Pro Bowl next year.
But the league is making a mistake here.
The allure for the players is certainly there. They can have an adult good time in the days leading up to the festivities taking place in that new stadium that looks like it was assimilated by the Borg from Star Trek. New stadiums should be rewarded. But the Pro Bowl is such a poor fit there.
The SuperBowl takes place in Tampa this year. Players and league personnel could have just taken a short drive down I4 from one big game to another. We have Disney, which will host the return of at least one major sport after the Coronavirus later this year. It’s a situation facility. That’s why the NBA chose us over Vegas.
Vegas also now has the Las Vegas Raiders. Orlando is still on the outside looking in when it comes to a franchise, even though we’re the epicenter of the College Football universe come bowl season. You’ve heard all of this before.
Finally, if I’m a GM, I want my players in Orlando. Not Las Vegas. We understand the kind of problems that can arise from an unsupervised good time at that place.
For us, it’s wonderful. For players what happens there might not stay there.
So, much love for Vegas. They were due to finally get a win over us. They got it here.
But for the NFL, you can’t call the NFL Pro Bowl a family event anymore. Not when you abandon Mickey Mouse for the one armed bandit.