|Photo by Freeimages.com/Penny Bubar|
George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), recently issued a statement welcoming the NFL Pro Bowl back to Hawaii after a one-year hiatus.
“We thank the NFL for bringing the Pro Bowl to Hawaii this year and again in 2017," he said. "The Pro Bowl is back where it belongs. The players cherish the honor of earning a trip to Hawaii and the fun of celebrating an outstanding season with their fellow all-stars."
The contract between HTA and the NFL for the 2016 and 2017 Pro Bowl games is dated October 30, 2014. HTA is paying the NFL a fee of $5-million to support the hosting of the 2016 Pro Bowl game and its related events in Hawaii. In addition, the NFL will not be charged for the use of Aloha Stadium, and HTA will reimburse the NFL up to $152,250 for its operational expenses at the stadium. The same agreement is in place for the 2017 Pro Bowl Game.
“The players and their families will enjoy our aloha spirit, culture and diversity of activities," said Szigeti. "As always, Hawaii’s residents will welcome them with the warmth and friendliness that makes the joy of experiencing our islands so remarkably special from any other place in the world."
Hawaii has hosted the NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on 34 previous occasions, beginning in 1980. The last Pro Bowl held at Aloha Stadium took place on January 26, 2014. A crowd of more than 47,000 attended the game, of which nearly 20,000 were visitors to Hawaii. Of the visitors in attendance, more than three-fourths came to Hawaii specifically to attend the Pro Bowl, which contributed $26.2-million in visitor spending to Hawaii’s economy and generated $2.8-million in state tax revenue.
“This will be the 35th time that Hawaii has hosted the Pro Bowl and it never gets old for the players," said Szigeti."We’re going to have an exciting week of fun and festivities and when it’s over, we’ll start the planning to make the Pro Bowl even more successful in 2017.”