The 2021 Pro Bowl will feature more spin moves and jukes than ever before, they just won’t be on the field, CNBC reported. The NFL announced Tuesday that it would forgo its normal game. Instead, players will face off in the Madden video game to see which conference is supreme.
The Pro Bowl was supposed to take place in Las Vegas, but the league decided the risk was too high considering the coronavirus pandemic.
The NFL signed a deal with EA Sports, makers of the Madden video games, to host a week of events. That will include games with celebrities and others. It will culminate in a video game between the league’s best players. They haven’t released the date of the showdown. Though the Pro Bowl generally takes place two weeks after the Super Bowl in February.
“We’re excited to bring this to life virtually and be the first to do so,” Peter O’Reilly, executive vice president of club business and league events at the NFL, told CNBC. “It’s an opportunity to connect with young fans in a way that’s really accessible.”
The NFL is in talks with ABC and ESPN to broadcast the event. However, the NFL said the game will appear on all major social media as well.
“As sports continues to change, we’re in the game with partners like the NFL to figure out what the next generation of fans is going to want in interactive sporting experiences and entertainment. This is just tailor-made for that,” said Chris Bruzzo, a marketing exec at EA Sports, to CNBC.
How to Cast Your Ballot for the 2021 Pro Bowl
The Pro Bowl’s players are chosen by a vote from fans, players, and coaches. Fans can cast their votes on NFL.com, Madden video games, or on Twitter starting today.
Despite the fact that the Pro Bowl is updating its format, not much will change.
It’s unclear if the change will remain for the 2022 Pro Bowl or if this is a one-time event.
Nearly every industry in the country has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Attendance has been limited at every NFL game this season and is still barred in some.
More than 245,000 people in the U.S. have died from the virus. More than 10 million Americans have contracted it, the CDC reports. Those numbers are increasing as the country undergoes its worst spike in cases since the pandemic began.