Maui Business

NFL Pro Bowl Returns to Hawaii in 2016

April 10, 2014, 9:45 AM HST
* Updated April 10, 9:47 AM
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Pro Bowl image courtesy HTA.

Pro Bowl image courtesy HTA.

By Wendy Osher

The Pro Bowl will return to Hawaiʻi in 2016 after the NFL takes the game to the mainland in 2015.

State officials say they reached an agreement with the NFL  that brings the game back to Hawaiʻi in 2016, and allows for the option of hosting the game again in 2017.

The Pro Bowl is touted as the most-watched all-star game in all of sports for the past five years with an estimated 11.4 million viewers in 2014 when the game was played at Aloha Stadium, according to the National Football League.

That game also attracted more than 47,000 attendees and contributed an estimated $71.9 million in direct visitor spending in the state, according to data compiled by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority.

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HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney released a statement saying, “The HTA plans to reprioritize the funds that would have supported the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl to pay for the 2016 and 2017 games and to assist with other initiatives that will help diversify our tourism economy which includes intensifying our efforts in Asia and the meetings, conventions and incentives market, two areas that have been gaining momentum for the state.”

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Gov. Neil Abercrombie also released a statement saying, “While we would like to have had the Pro Bowl in Hawaiʻi in 2015, the return of the Pro Bowl in 2016 provides the state with an opportunity to showcase our islands unique culture and beauty.  Our state stands ready to create another memorable experience for the world’s best football players, their families and the fans.”

Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui, commented in a press release in which he said, “For more than three decades, the NFL Pro Bowl has been a highly anticipated and exciting event that the players, visitors and our residents enjoy, and has benefited our local communities and tourism economy. We understand the NFL’s interest in moving the all-star game to Arizona, one of their franchise cities, and wish them our best aloha. Hawaiʻi and the NFL have a long history and strong relationship, and we look forward to continuing our relationship in the future.”

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