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NFL ponders moving Pro Bowl to Brazil

The NFL American football league is considering staging its annual Pro Bowl game in Brazil in 2017.

Hosting of the all-star game is one of the issues being discussed at the league’s three-day annual meeting in Phoenix, which ends on Wednesday.

According to Fox Sports, Brazil is being considered as the first non-US host of the Pro Bowl due to growing interest and television viewing figures in the South American country.

“We are looking forward to returning to Hawaii for next year’s game, but we have not made any decisions on future sites for the Pro Bowl beyond the game slated for 2016,” NFL vice-president of communications Brian McCarthy told SportBusiness International.

“For 2017 and beyond, we are studying the future of the Pro Bowl. Brazil – an area with a growing number of NFL fans – as a possible host is one of the ideas that is worth additional analysis.”

Global expansion has been a key issue on the NFL’s agenda over recent years, with regular season games at London’s Wembley Stadium now an established feature of the campaign.

The 2015 Pro Bowl moved away from its traditional home in Hawaii to be staged at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, the site of this year’s Super Bowl. Honolulu had staged the Pro Bowl every year since 1980, with the exception of 2010.

The Pro Bowl following the 2015 season will return to Hawaii on January 31, 2016. The NFL has an agreement with the State of Hawaii to play the Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium following the 2016 season but said last year that “final confirmation” of the game will be made at a later date.