Hawaii banking on next Pro Bowl - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii banking on next Pro Bowl

Michael Story Michael Story
Rodney Lau Rodney Lau

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -- ESPN's slick pre-game production gave way to a high-scoring Pro Bowl, but the action wasn't all on the field.

The game was a sell-out in Miami and TV ratings were the Pro Bowl's best in ten years.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority's sports manager Michael Story said it serves as motivation for next year.

"The NFL put a lot of effort behind marketing the event. Just because they changed the format, I see no reason why we wouldn't be sold out and the ratings couldn't be just as high when it's held here next year," he said.

The league staged the game outside Hawaii for the first time in thirty years. But because it played a week before the Super Bowl, players for the Saints and Colts didn't suit up.

Hawaii fans hope the game reverts to the after-Super Bowl format next year.

"That way if any of the Super Bowl players wanted to come, they have that option," NFL fan Rodney Lau said.

"If they're going to the Super Bowl they don't want to risk getting hurt in some show-off game. They want to save their health for the big game," fan Katie McNamara said.

But the success of this year's game gives the NFL reason to schedule the Pro Bowl early again.

and Story said it probably will.

Hawaii's agreement with the league expires after 2012 so the pressure is on the 50th state to make a good showing next season.

"We want everybody to come out and participate," Story said. "We want to make it the best destination there is to host the Pro Bowl. We think the players believe it. This should be the home for the Pro Bowl."

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