The 2017 Pro Bowl presented by Aquafina in Orlando, Fla. is much more than a game on Sunday; it’s a week-long celebration that unites and inspires the entire football community. In the week leading up to the game, the NFL will host events that will bring interactive fan experiences, youth and high school football competitions and a spirit of community to Orlando.
PRO BOWL WEEK activities include the NFL FLAG Championships and Punt, Pass and Kick National Championships; Pro Bowl Skills Showdown; free access to AFC and NFC team practices; NFL Pro Bowl Experience, a free, football-themed fan festival; NFL PLAY 60 activities; and a series of community events with local nonprofit organizations and military personnel. The week-long celebration will culminate with the Pro Bowl game featuring 88 of the NFL’s best players on Sunday, Jan. 29 at Camping World Stadium that will air on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 8:00 PM ET.
In addition to the unprecedented number of youth and high school football events taking place during Pro Bowl Week, the NFL will recognize high school football coaches and programs in special ways. As part of the “Thank You, Coach” initiative, Pro Bowl players will invite their high school football coach to Orlando to be a part of Pro Bowl Week celebrations. For the first time, all of the nominees for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award will be honored and participate in Pro Bowl Week events, and the winner of the national award will be announced during the Pro Bowl game at Camping World Stadium. Additionally, players on the winning Pro Bowl team will be eligible to apply for a $10,000 grant from the NFL Foundation to support their youth or high school football program.
PRO BOWL WEEK KICKOFF AND COMMUNITY GRANT EVENT
On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the NFL will join the City of Orlando, Florida Citrus Sports and LIFT Orlando at Lake Lorna Doone Park to kick off Pro Bowl Week festivities and recognize local Pro Bowl Community Grant recipients. Among those who will take part in the event are Orlando Mayor BUDDY DYER, Florida Citrus Sports CEO STEVE HOGAN, NFL Senior Vice President of Events PETER O’REILLY, Pro Bowl Legends Captains JEROME BETTIS, TONY GONZALEZ, RAY LEWIS, and CHARLES WOODSON, and local high school football teams from Maynard Evans and Jones High Schools.
The NFL seeks to improve the surrounding communities and leave a positive legacy in the host city beyond the Pro Bowl game. The NFL Foundation has provided a Pro Bowl Community Grant to LIFT Orlando to fund the refurbishment of a multi-purpose field at Lake Lorna Doone Park. The NFL Foundation will partner with LIFT Orlando and Florida Citrus Sports on this project to create additional spaces for local youth to get active and PLAY 60.
2017 NFL PRO BOWL EXPERIENCE
NFL Pro Bowl Experience will be open to fans Wednesday, Jan. 25 – Thursday, Jan. 26 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Friday, Jan. 27 – Saturday, Jan. 28 from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The free-admission, family-friendly football fan festival will bring fans closer to the NFL through interactive games and sponsor activations.
The NFL will launch its official companion app for the 2017 Pro Bowl – Pro Bowl – Fan Mobile Pass – on Thursday, Jan. 19. The app guides visitors through the NFL Pro Bowl Experience at ESPN Wide World of Sports and provides exclusive chances to win prizes, including tickets to the Pro Bowl, an autographed football and more. The app will also feature game day content, including real time updates of which players are on the field, powered by Next Gen Stats. Fans may download the official Pro Bowl app at NFL.com/apps/ProBowl.
An assortment of free fan activities at the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl Experience are detailed below. A full list of the attractions is available at NFL.com/ProBowl. No tickets are required.
- Disney Food Trucks – Enjoy selections from Disney’s theme parks and best restaurants in a “taste of the town” tailgate.
- EA SPORTS – Check out the EA SPORTS Madden NFL experience and get in the game with Madden NFL 17 and the free-to-play Madden NFL Mobile.
- Family Tailgate Photo Opp Presented by Ford Trucks – Snap a photo with your friends in front of an NFL tailgate set up
- Family Football Zone – An interactive area for kids and families to play together. Play catch in the field or take part in a range of football and tailgate-themed games.
- Long Snap Accuracy Challenge Presented by Verizon– Test your aim by long snapping footballs through a variety of obstacles.
- NFL Pro Bowl Trophy – Take a photo with the official NFL Pro Bowl Trophy.
- NFL Shop at Pro Bowl – Stop by for official NFL Pro Bowl merchandise and shop for your favorite NFL team gear at the NFL Shop trailer.
- Panini – Panini America, the exclusive physical trading card partner of the NFL, will give fans the opportunity to interact with their Panini Gridiron digital trading card app and make their own digital trading card. Fans can win packs of Panini NFL trading cards and get the Panini NFL Sticker Album.
- Run-A-Route – Test your wide receiver skills and run a see-and-react route to catch a pass down field.
- Touchdown Celebration GIF Booth presented by Aquafina – Immortalize your best touchdown celebration as a free, digital GIF.
- Wilson – Put yourself into the game with the Wilson X Connected Football, the world’s first smart football, get your very own Wx rating and find out how you stack up against your friends!
AFC and NFC Team Pro Bowl Practices
The AFC and NFC teams will practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports from Wednesday, Jan. 25 through Saturday, Jan. 28. All media availabilities will take place on the field at the conclusion of each practice.
Practices are free and open to the public, but fans can pre-register for priority access and opportunities for VIP seating upgrades here. Fans are encouraged to arrive early as space is limited.
Wednesday, January 25
11:30 AM NFC team practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 17
11:45 AM AFC team practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 16
Thursday, January 26
9:45 AM AFC team practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 17
11:20 AM NFC team practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 17
Friday, January 27
9:45 AM NFC team practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 17
11:20 AM AFC team practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 17
Saturday, January 28
9:45 AM AFC team walk-through at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 17
10:00 AM NFC team walk-through at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 16
SPECIAL OLYMPICS FLAG FOOTBALL GAME
The NFL and Special Olympics are teaming to build inclusive communities and provide opportunities for athletes of all abilities to participate in sports through the expansion of Special Olympics Unified Sports flag football, where individuals with and without intellectual disabilities play flag football together on the same team. To kick off their new partnership, the NFL and Special Olympics will host a flag football game featuring local Special Olympic athletes on Wednesday, January 25 from 2-3:00 PM at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Current Pro Bowl players will serve as coaches and cheer athletes on during the game.
With contributions from the NFL Foundation, Special Olympics will provide grants to local Special Olympics Programs in eleven NFL team markets. The grants will be used to help enhance Unified Sports programming; increase participation of athletes, partners and coaches; and support the improvement of Special Olympics Unified Sports’ online education and training course. NFL teams will work with local Special Olympics Programs to help grow and expand opportunities for Special Olympics Unified flag football. NFL teams have and will continue to work with local Special Olympics Programs to help grow and expand opportunities for Special Olympics Unified flag football.
USA FOOTBALL’S 2017 WOMEN’S WORLD FOOTBALL GAMES
The 2017 Women’s World Football Games will take place Wednesday, Jan. 25 to Saturday, Jan. 28 at ESPN Wide World of Sports as part of Pro Bowl Week. The fourth-annual event, which was hosted by the New Orleans Saints in 2016, will bring together more than 250 female tackle football players from around the world for five days of training, skills sessions and 11v11 competitions. Participants will also be eligible to participate in the NFL’s Women’s Careers in Football Forum at ESPN Wide World of Sports Jan. 26-27.
USA Football’s Women’s World Football Games Practice Schedule:
Practice #1, Wednesday, Jan. 25: 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Practice #2, Wednesday, Jan. 25: 3:45 – 5:45 PM
Practice #3, Thursday, Jan. 26: 10:45 AM – 12:30 PM
Practice #4, Thursday, Jan. 26: 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Practice #5, Friday, Jan. 27: 10:45 AM – 12:30 PM
USA Football’s Women’s World Football Games Game Schedule:
Game #1, Friday, Jan. 27: 5 – 8 PM
Game #2, Saturday, Jan. 28: 12 – 2:30 PM
Game #3, Saturday, Jan. 28: 3:30 – 6 PM
WOMEN’S CAREERS IN FOOTBALL FORUM
The NFL will host the first-ever Women’s Careers in Football Forum Thursday, Jan. 26 and Friday Jan. 27 in conjunction with USA Football’s 2017 Women’s World Football Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The forum is open to all Women’s World Football Games participants and will feature panel discussions, presentations and networking sessions aimed to educate and prepare women for positions in football operations, including coaching, officiating and scouting. Featured speakers and panelists will include RSE Ventures Executive of Strategy and Development DAWN APONTE, NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating DEAN BLANDINO, NFL Senior Vice President of Football Operations KIM FIELDS, NFL Senior Vice President of Football Operations DAVE GARDI, NFL Chief Information Technology Officer MICHELLE MCKENNA-DOYLE, Buffalo Bills Owner KIM PEGULA, Atlanta Falcons Assistant General Manager SCOTT PIOLI, NFL Director of Football Development SAM RAPOPORT and former WBNA coach and wife of Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera STEPHANIE RIVERA.
The Women’s Careers in Football Forum furthers the NFL’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. All attendees will be entered into the league’s Diverse Talent Community, an online recruitment platform that encourages quality, dynamic candidates with diverse backgrounds to join its ranks through a shared talent acquisition database for Human Resources across the NFL and its 32 clubs.
On Thursday, January 26 from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM and 1 – 2 PM, the NFL will host two PLAY 60 clinics with current NFL players and local students from Fuel Up to Play 60 schools. In addition, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host community groups from their region at the PLAY 60 clinics, which will take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Organizations and schools taking part in the clinics include:
- Lake Asbury Elementary School
- Lakemont Elementary School
- City of Sanford: Westside Community Center
GIVE KIDS THE WORLD VILLAGE NFL PLAYER COMMUNITY VISIT
On Thursday, January 26, NFL players, mascots and cheerleaders will visit children with life-threatening illnesses and their families at Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, FL. The nonprofit, “storybook” resort makes dreams come true by providing weeklong, cost-free trips to children whose wish is to enjoy Central Florida’s theme parks and attractions.
YOU CAN PLAY PROJECT: HI-FIVE INITIATIVE
On the morning of Thursday, January 26, the NFL will team with the You Can Play Project to host Orlando-area LGBT youth from local organizations, including the Hope Community Center, Our Fund and the Zebra Coalition, for a special event at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Students will attend Pro Bowl practice and then sit down with current NFL players and NFL Legends for a conversation on LGBT rights and inclusion in sports. The session will be facilitated by former NFL player and You Can Play Project Executive Director, WADE DAVIS. Additionally, youth participating in the event will attend the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 29 at Camping World Stadium.
PRO BOWL SKILLS SHOWDOWN
The Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, pitting AFC and NFC All-Stars against each other in unique competitions, will air on Thursday, January 26 at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN. Each team in the Skills Showdown will feature a mix of quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, linemen, linebackers and defensive backs. The 2017 Pro Bowl Legends Captains, JEROME BETTIS and RAY LEWIS of the AFC and TONY GONZALEZ and CHARLES WOODSON of the NFC, will lead their respective squads.
Taking place at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, the competition will include:
- Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball: Pro Bowlers will compete in a game of dodgeball.
- Power Relay Challenge: Four team members will compete in a timed relay race.
- Precision Passing: Two players on each team will battle it out, trying to hit moving targets of varying size and distance.
- Best Hands: Quarterback and wide receiver duos from each team will show off their skills, connecting on as many pass attempts as possible before time runs out.
Fans are encouraged to join the conversation surrounding the new Pro Bowl Skills Showdown on social media using the hashtag #ProBowlSkills.
A limited number of free tickets to the Skills Showdown taping will be made available to fans. Fan may register for tickets here.
EA SPORTS: THE MADDEN BOWL
From Thursday, Jan. 26 to Saturday, Jan. 28, EA SPORTS will host The Madden Bowl Group Stage tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The Madden Bowl, the second EA Major Series event of the $1 Million Madden NFL 17 Championship Series, will bring together the top 16 players from across the country to compete during Pro Bowl Week in Orlando, FL. These elite competitive players advanced through a grueling online elimination process featuring millions of Madden players in pursuit of the Madden Bowl title and their share of $250,000.
The competitions will take place:
- Thursday, Jan. 26: 3 – 10 PM ET
- Friday, Jan. 27: 3 – 10 PM ET
- Saturday, Jan. 28: 5 – 10 PM ET
DISNEY SPRINGS PRO BOWL BASH
Head over to Disney Springs to kick up your heels and celebrate the 2017 Pro Bowl. Dancing, live radio broadcasts, NFL cheerleaders and team mascots await at the Disney Springs Pro Bowl Bash! Fans will receive giveaways and enjoy hours of free music from a Disney DJ. The Disney Springs Pro Bowl Bash will culminate with the Pro Bowl Dance Party on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 4-7 PM.
Live radio broadcasts include:
Mike & Mike Show, ESPN Radio
- Thursday, Jan. 26: 6 – 10AM
- Friday, Jan. 27: 6 – 10AM
- Thursday, Jan. 26: 3 – 4PM
- Friday, Jan. 27: 3 – 4PM
THANK YOU, COACH
For the 2017 Pro Bowl, players will be saying “Thank You, Coach” to that special high school coach who most impacted their life and NFL career. Each Pro Bowl player attending may invite their high school coach and a guest to celebrate Pro Bowl Week in Orlando.
On Friday, Jan. 27, high school coaches will enjoy a special welcome reception followed by a luncheon with their Pro Bowl players on Saturday, Jan. 28 at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Also on Saturday, high school coaches will participate in the USA Football National Conference to learn and network with fellow coaches and high school football administrators and former NFL coaches and players. On Sunday, Jan. 29, the coaches will attend the Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium and be recognized on-field alongside their Pro Bowl player.
NFL FLAG CHAMPIONSHIPS AT PRO BOWL POWERED BY USA FOOTBALL
Traditionally hosted at Super Bowl, the NFL FLAG Championships powered by USA Football will be held at Pro Bowl for the first time as part of the week-long celebration of football across all levels. The NFL FLAG Championships will be held at ESPN Wide World of Sports from Friday, Jan. 27 – Saturday, Jan. 28 from 10 AM – 7:30 PM.
Sixty-four teams from across the country – eight regional champions in four divisions plus 32 at-large teams – will compete and each will represent a different NFL club. Divisions include 9-10 coed, 11-12 coed, 13-14 boys and 13-14 girls. NFL Pro Bowl players and Legends will serve as guest coaches, encouraging the teams as they compete for the national title. The 13-14 Boys Championship Game will be aired on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 29 as part of the network’s broadcast of the Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium.
NFL FLAG powered by USA Football promotes physical fitness and teaches the sport’s values and life skills on and off the field to more than 350,000 young people. A non-contact version of traditional football offered for boys and girls ages 5-17 in cities across the country, NFL FLAG emphasizes fun, safety, teamwork, self-esteem, discipline and goal-setting. USA Football is the sport’s national governing body in the United States.
PUNT, PASS AND KICK NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Thousands of girls and boys from across the country competed in regional PUNT, PASS, and KICK (PPK) competitions this fall to try to earn their spot in the PPK National Championships in Orlando. The top four boys and top four girls in each age division (6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, and 14-15) will compete in this premiere skills competition on the national stage at Pro Bowl on Friday, Jan. 27 at ESPN Wide World of Sports from 12 – 2:15 PM.
PRO BOWL PARADE
As part of the weeklong celebration in Orlando, current Pro Bowl players will take part in a special Pro Bowl parade at Disney’s Magic Kingdom® Park on Friday, Jan. 27 at 2:30 PM. Several Pro Bowl players will be joined by Mickey and his pals, as well as kids and families from Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), in the celebratory parade down Main Street U.S.A.
The Pro Bowl parade continues a tradition at Disney Parks of honoring extraordinary sports champions from professional football, basketball, hockey, baseball and beyond. The parade will be livestreamed on the Disney Parks Blog. Fans may also follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #DisneyParksLIVE.
NFL YOUTH AND HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT PANELS
On Friday Jan. 27, the NFL will host a series of football development panels for NFL FLAG Championship and Punt, Pass, and Kick participants and their parents at ESPN Wide World of Sports. AFC Pro Bowl Legend Captain RAY LEWIS will kick off the day’s competition with a motivational speech for participants. Two afternoon panel sessions at 1:00 PM and 3:30 PM will address the values of football and sportsmanship and feature NFL Pro Bowl players and Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award nominees.
YOUTH “MEDIA NIGHT”
Members of the NFL FLAG Championship teams will experience what it feels like to be in the spotlight like an NFL player at Youth “Media Night” on Friday, Jan. 27 at 7 PM at ESPN Wide World of Sports. At the event, FLAG participants will take part in interviews with current Pro Bowl players and NFL Legends. In addition to being interviewed like the stars, NFL FLAG and PPK participants will enjoy food and entertainment, photo opportunities with NFL players and Legends and walk a red carpet like the NFL’s best.
USA FOOTBALL NATIONAL CONFERENCE
The USA Football National Conference, which drew more than 650 participants from all 50 states last year, is the largest annual gathering of high school and youth football administrators and high school coaches in the United States. This year, USA Football and the NFL have collaborated to add NFL coaches to National Conference programming to provide high school and youth officials the opportunity to learn from and network with those at the professional level. Super Bowl-winning (XXXV) Coach BRIAN BILLICK and former NFL Coach MIKE MARTZ are among the many coaches and former NFL players who will address this year’s participants on a range of topics, including coach education, player safety, program development and key trends. This year’s conference will take place from Friday, Jan. 27 to Sunday, Jan. 29 at the Orange County Convention Center.
USA Football National Conference Schedule:
Friday, Jan. 27: 4 – 8:30 PM
Saturday, Jan. 28: 8 A.M. – 7:15 PM
Sunday, Jan. 29: 8:15 – 11:30 AM
PRO BOWL 5K RUN
The NFL is teaming with Walt Disney World® Resort to host the Pro Bowl 5K Run at Epcot® on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7:00 A.M. Participants will receive a Pro Bowl 5K Run race bib and finisher medal. Fans ages five and up may register for the run here.
The Pro Bowl 5K Run benefits Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida, an organization dedicated to granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. With the support of volunteers, the Pro Bowl 5K Run will give hope, strength, and joy to a sick child by granting his or her most heartfelt wish.
Information on race packet pick-up:
Race Packet Pick-Up
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Location: Champion® Stadium Concourse
Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 – 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: Epcot® Imagine Parking Lot
Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 – 5:00 AM – 6:30 AM
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL DAY
On Saturday, January 27, the NFL will host approximately 100 local high school football players for a day-long event designed to encourage team-building and unity and to educate players about character development and healthy relationships. The program will feature a character development session with A CALL TO MEN CEO TONY PORTER in which students will identify signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships and discuss effective strategies for violence prevention. As part of the event, players will also attend Pro Bowl practice and visit the NFL Pro Bowl Experience, a free, football-themed fan festival.
NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
The North American Championship features top high school-aged national football teams from the United States and Canada. On Saturday, Jan. 28, each country’s Under-18 National Teams will play at 5:30 PM, followed by a matchup of each nation’s Under-19 National Teams at 8:30 PM Both games will be played at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex.
The North American Championship is a collaboration of the sport’s national governing bodies in each country, USA Football and Football Canada. The two U.S. National Teams encompass approximately 100 student-athletes spanning more than 20 states. The head coach of the U.S. Under-18 National Team is Matt Hennesy of Locust Grove (Okla.) High School. Kenny Sanchez of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School is the U.S. Under-19 National Team’s head coach.
U.S. National Team alumni include DT MALCOM BROWN (Texas/New England Patriots), WR DEVIN FUNCHESS (Michigan/Carolina Panthers), RB TODD GURLEY (Georgia/Los Angeles Rams), CB JOURDAN LEWIS (Michigan), LB GREER MARTINI (Notre Dame), RB SAMAJE PERINE (Oklahoma), QB BRYCE PETTY (Baylor/New York Jets) and QB JAMEIS WINSTON (Florida State/Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
2017 NFL PRO BOWL PRESENTED BY AQUAFINA
The 2017 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, Jan. 29 and simulcast live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 8:00 PM ET from Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
Tickets to the 2017 Pro Bowl are on sale through NFL.com/ProBowlOnSale.
Pro Football Hall of Fame running back JEROME BETTIS, All-Pro tight end TONY GONZALEZ, two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl XXXV MVP RAY LEWIS, and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and All-Pro defensive back CHARLES WOODSON will serve as 2017 Pro Bowl Legends Captains. Bettis (offense) and Lewis (defense) will lead the AFC, while Gonzalez (offense) and Woodson (defense) will lead the NFC. The NFL legends on both teams will also be assisted by two active player captains, who will be determined by a player vote on Wednesday, Jan. 25.
The 2017 Pro Bowl coaching staffs will be from the losing teams in the AFC and NFC Divisional playoffs with the best regular-season records.
NFL FOUNDATION PRO BOWL GIVEBACK
This year, Pro Bowl players will compete for more than bragging rights – players on the winning team may apply for a $10,000 NFL Foundation grant to be donated to the high school or youth football program of their choice. The Pro Bowl Giveback Program ensures the NFL and its players will leave a lasting legacy on the youth and high school football community and increase opportunities for the next generation of football players.
DON SHULA NFL HIGH SCHOOL COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award honors an exemplary football coach at the high school level who displays the integrity, achievement, and leadership demonstrated by Coach Shula. Coaches are nominated for the national award by all 32 NFL teams, and the winner is selected by an elite panel of judges, including PEYTON MANNING, MICHAEL STRAHAN and CONDOLEEZZA RICE.
For the first time, the Don Shula Award winner will be announced during the Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 29. The 2016 winner will receive $25,000 from the NFL Foundation and attend the Super Bowl. All of the Don Shula Award nominees will be invited and recognized in special ways during the NFL’s week-long celebration of football in Orlando.
Through the assistance of the NFL, Make-A-Wish will grant the wishes of five children to attend the 2017 Pro Bowl presented by Aquafina. Wish children and their families will participate in several Pro Bowl Week activities, including the celebratory Pro Bowl Parade at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park® and a Pro Bowl practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports, and will attend the game at Camping World Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 29. Every year since 1982, the NFL and Make-A-Wish have teamed to grant one or more wish kids to attend either the Super Bowl or Pro Bowl.
The following is a sampling of events planned for military service members and their families in Orlando during Pro Bowl Week as part of the league’s Salute to Service:
- The NFL will host members of the Tragedy Assistance Program (TAPS )for Survivors and the Wounded Warrior Project at Pro Bowl practices throughout the week at ESPN Wide World of Sports.
- Family members from the TAPS will join current Pro Bowl players in a celebratory Pro Bowl Parade at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park® on Friday, Jan. 27 at 2:30 PM. Attendees will also be provided with complimentary admittance to Disney’s theme park.
- On Friday, Jan. 27 at 9:00 AM, members of the U.S. Army Reserve 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command will join community gardeners and local middle school students at Colonialtown Community Gardens to plant fruit trees and rebuild the aging park space.
- Following Pro Bowl practice on Saturday, Jan. 28, 75 individuals from TAPS will attend a special military luncheon hosted by the NFL at ESPN Wide World of Sports. NFL Legends will be in attendance to meet and greet TAPS families as they enjoy a complimentary meal provided by MISSION BBQ. MISSION BBQ is dedicated to serving those who serve and donates proceeds to local military members, firefighters, police officers, first responders.
Culminating in November with NFL Salute to Service games, Salute to Service is the league’s year-round military appreciation platform to celebrate and honor veterans, active-duty service members and their families.
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 70,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information, visit www.taps.org.
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
PRO BOWL ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM
The NFL is teaming with the City of Orlando, Verizon and local community partners to reduce the environmental impact of the Pro Bowl and leave a positive “green” legacy in the Orlando host community.
Below is a sampling of environmental initiatives taking place during Pro Bowl Week.
- Colonialtown Community GardenRebuild Project: Community gardeners, military members and local middle school students will join with the NFL, the City of Orlando and Verizon to plant trees and rebuild the aging Colonialtown Community Gardens (1517 Lake Highland Drive) on Friday, January 27. Soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, students from Annunciation Middle School and Colonialtown gardeners will build and plant new garden boxes and plant trees. There will be a brief ceremony with District 4 Orlando Commissioner PATTY SHEEHAN and NFL Legends to kick off the project at 9 AM. In addition to providing shade and food, beautifying the park space, and teaching the children to care for the environment, the plantings also promote NFL PLAY 60, the league’s youth health and wellness campaign, by encouraging children to enjoy outdoor activities.
- Community Tree Planting: Trees will be planted at Lake Lorna Doone Park as part of the NFL Foundation’s Pro Bowl Community Grant and field refurbishment project in partnership with LIFT Orlando and Florida Citrus Sports. Eight large trees will be planted with the help of high school football players from Maynard Evans High School and Jones High School on Tuesday, January 24 at 11:30 AM.
- Food Recovery: The NFL is teaming with Second Harvest Food Back to recover unserved, prepared food from kitchens and minimize food waste. Unserved, prepared food will be distributed to local shelters and community kitchens in Orlando.
- Materials Recovery: There will be an intensive drive to collect and donate all items left over from Pro Bowl events. In partnership with A Gift for Teaching, Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity the NFL will donate decorative materials, office supplies and other items to local nonprofit organizations that can reuse, repurpose or remanufacture the material. This project keeps material out of local landfills and turns it into valuable items for resale or reuse.
- Renewable Energy Project: Camping World Stadium, the site of Pro Bowl 2017, will be powered using “green energy” provided by Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) – The Reliable One to reduce the climate impact of Pro Bowl. In addition to game day, renewable energy credits provided by OUC – The Reliable One will power Camping World Stadium during the entirety of the two-week set up and breakdown of Pro Bowl. Orlando’s hometown utility is able to offer green energy credits by including sustainable energy from solar and landfill methane gas in its generation portfolio.
- Solid Waste Management/Recycling: Comprehensive solid waste management is implemented at all major Pro Bowl facilities including Camping World Stadium, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and area hotels. Effective waste management and recycling efforts significantly reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills.
- Urban Forestry Efforts: In addition to community tree plantings at Colonialtown Gardens and Lake Lorna Doone Park, hundreds of trees will be provided to local organizations and neighborhoods in Orlando with the support of Verizon, the Arbor Day Foundation and Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Green Works Orlando as part of Pro Bowl environmental initiatives. The 4-foot tall Eastern Redbud, Red Maple and Tulip Trees may be reserved at www.arborday.org/cityoforlando.
The NFL Environmental Program has incorporated environmental projects into the management of Pro Bowl events for sixteen years. The NFL Environmental Program is one of a significant number of community initiatives developed each year by the NFL to leave a positive legacy in the Pro Bowl host community.