2015 Pro Bowl to be played in Arizona

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The 2015 Pro Bowl is headed to Arizona.

On Wednesday, the National Football League announced that the Pro Bowl following the 2014 season will be played on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, the site of Super Bowl XLIX a week later.

"We think it's a great opportunity for our community," Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said in a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

He stopped by 3TV to chat with Scott Pasmore during "Good Morning Arizona" Thursday.

"It's exciting that it will be here in just nine and a half months," he said. "I think we're going to see a lot people from the 48 [contiguous] states coming to the game, especially now that it's got this new format that NFL fans of all 32 teams really like."

The Pro Bowl will be televised live on ESPN. 

"I think when you look at the game that's been played in Hawaii, that game and the way ESPN broadcasts it, turns out to be sort of a soft infomercial for Hawaii tourism and we hope that this time around with the game being here in Arizona that we're able to showcase Arizona and really emphasize such an important industry for our state – the tourism industry," Bidwill said.

The 2015 Pro Bowl will be the third one played in the same city as the Super Bowl. The Los Angeles Coliseum hosted the first Super Bowl on Jan. 15, 1967, and the Pro Bowl the following week. South Florida hosted the Pro Bowl in 2010 a week before Super Bowl XLIV.

The NFL also announced that the 2016 Pro Bowl will be in Hawaii. The game will be played on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii, which first hosted the NFL's All-Star game in 1980. San Francisco will host Super Bowl L the following Sunday.

The NFL has an agreement with the State of Hawaii to play the Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium following the 2016 season, but final confirmation of the game will be made at a later date.

Officials said the Pro Bowl has been the most-watched all-star game in all of sports the past four years. 

NFL officials said the 2014 Pro Bowl featured a significantly revised format that will continue. For the first time, the Pro Bowl was "unconferenced," and several key playing rules were changed. Rather than the familiar AFC vs. NFC match-up that had existed since 1971, players were selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players.

Tickets will be available first to Arizona Cardinals season ticket members and annual Pro Bowl season ticket holders. Pro Bowl annual ticket subscribers in Hawaii will maintain their account status for any future games at Aloha Stadium.