NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has made no decisions on where or when the 2013 Pro Bowl will be played.
ESPN reported Thursday that Commissioner Roger Goodell is "strongly considering" suspending the game for the upcoming season.
"No determination has been made yet about this season's game," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press. "We have been in discussions with the union about the future of the Pro Bowl."
Goodell expressed his dissatisfaction with the low quality of play in the AFC's 59-41 win in Honolulu in January, a game that often resembled touch football. Many players chosen for the game bow out, and if the Pro Bowl is held before the Super Bowl, as in the last three years, players from the conference champions don't participate.
It still gets solid TV ratings — although viewership dropped 8.1 percent in January, the Pro Bowl still was the highest-rated sports program of the weekend.
But it's also costly, particularly when played in Hawaii. And with so many defections— there were 20 replacements for non-participating players in 2012, including Pro Bowlers from the Giants and Patriots who were otherwise occupied with the Super Bowl — is the game still considered something special by the players?
Newly elected NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth tweeted Thursday: "The Pro Bowl is an important tradition we are in talks with the league to improve and preserve the game for our players and fans"
Hawaii started hosting the game in 1980 and it was held there annually until 2010, when it was moved to Miami and played the week before the Super Bowl there. Before moving it that year, the NFL expressed the need for a more modern stadium in Hawaii to host the Pro Bowl.
The game returned to Hawaii in 2011, but the site for next year's game is up in the air, given the discussions between the league and the union.
"We have had lots of talks with the players about the Pro Bowl," NFL counsel Jeff Pash said last week. "When should it be played? Where? And certainly the quality of the game.
"We understand what contributes to the low quality of the game. It does not mean very much either financially or competitively. Players are reluctant to participate in a way that they could be injured. It's not going to ever look like a playoff game, but it needs to improve so fans don't say, 'I feel bad watching it.'"