Maui Sports

Aloha time for Pro Bowl

February 5, 2009, 6:56 AM HST
* Updated February 5, 2:38 PM
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It’s kind of sad really.  The Pro Bowl will be played for the 30th — and possibly last – time at Aloha Stadium on Sunday.  Yet, there is little buzz about what has long ranked the state’s biggest sporting event of the year.

Forget all the marketing baloney about how 25,000 fans come from the mainland to watch the Pro Bowl.  Anyone who has attended the event knows that this is an overwhelmingly local crowd,

But unlike in years past, 3,000 tickets remained unsold as of yesterday, raising the possibility of the last Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium being blacked out on TV in the Aloha State.

And there has been relatively little outrage expressed about the NFL’s decision to stage next year’s Pro Bowl in Miami on the Sunday before the Super Bowl is hosted by the same city.

The scheduling of the game will prevent the top players from the league’s top two teams from taking part in what allegedly would be the NFL All-Star game.

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The NFL’s plan to bundle the events has already hit a roadblock.  Dallas, which will host the 2011 Super Bowl doesn’t want to host the 2011 Pro Bowl.

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The NFL asked the Hawaii Tourism Authority if it would consider hosting the event regularly, if not annually.  The HTA, which pays the NFL $4.5 million yearly, said no to hosting two Pro Bowls over a four-year span.  Can’t say I blame them.

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