|Jesse Sapolu, co-founder and chairman of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. Photo Credit: Holladay Photo|
Hawaii just added another amenity to it's already robust sports tourism offerings as it was recently announced that the state's Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) will now be a perpetual place of honor for esteemed football champions of Polynesia.
The PCC will be the permanent home of the new Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, with the exhibit recognizing the sport’s greatest players, coaches and contributors from Polynesia scheduled to open in January 2015.
The announcement was made at a press conference held on Friday, Jan. 24, at PCC, which was attended by inductees of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame’s inaugural 2014 class and members of its board of directors.
“Our Polynesian football heroes and the legacy they represent have inspired all of us who love the sport," said Alfred Grace, PCC president and CEO, in a written release. "We’re deeply honored to be the place where people will learn about their exploits and Polynesia’s history in football."
The new Hall of Fame exhibit will be placed in the area between the PCC’s main entrance and the Pacific Theater, site of the award-winning evening show, Ha: Breath of Life, and special events throughout the year, including the World Fireknife Championships. The location and PCC’s stature as one of Hawaii’s most popular attractions ensure the exhibit will be highly visible to guests from around the world.
"When we officially established the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame six months ago, the decision to choose Hawaii as our home was easy," said Jesse Sapolu, co-founder and chairman of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. "It was important that our home be reflective of the culture and people of Polynesia, and for us, there was only one place, the Polynesian Cultural Center.”
Starting next year, the PCC will be the site for future enshrinement ceremonies of inductees into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. In addition, the PCC is teaming up with the Hall of Fame’s board of directors to develop youth and community educational initiatives, and marketing programs to promote the exhibit and Polynesia’s place in the history of football.