The 2020 NFL season has been all about adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From a virtual NFL Draft, to limited amounts of fans at games, the season has looked vastly different. Now the Pro Bowl is being added to that long list of changes made.
Instead of taking place in Las Vegas at the new Allegiant Stadium on Jan.31, 2021, this year's Pro Bowl will be held virtually and played on "Madden NFL 21." In October, the league canceled the in-person event due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"Even amidst unparalleled change across the sports industry, we are excited to transition many of the signature components of the Pro Bowl — which will go virtual in 'Madden NFL 21' — into a new innovative experience for our players and fans," Peter O'Reilly, executive vice president of club business and league events at the NFL, told the Associated Press.
While the actual Pro Bowl date has not yet been determined, it will still feature some of the best players in the league controlling themselves on the video game.
"You can imagine Patrick Mahomes playing as himself as an AFC quarterback against Aaron Donald on the NFC side," O'Reilly said. "So bring those type players to the game and allow celebrities and others to be part of that virtual game and obviously allow fans to see that and be part of it."
The game will remain AFC vs NFC. Broadcast deals are still being discussed, but O'Reilly ensured this will all be easily accessible to many.
Pro Bowl voting is currently live and players and coaches are set to cast their votes on December 18. A total of 44 players will be chosen from each conference.