NFL votes to keep Pro Bowl in Hawaii in 2014

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - PHOENIX (AP) - The Pro Bowl will return to Honolulu next January and again will be played the week before the Super Bowl.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says Wednesday at the owners meetings that the all-star game he once considered scrapping has been scheduled for Aloha Stadium on Jan. 26. He adds that Hawaii will be included "on some sort of rotational basis" in any future Pro Bowl scheduling.

Goodell says he was encouraged by the level of performance in this year's game, won 62-35 by the NFC.

He says while the system for choosing the players won't change, some consideration has been given to having team captains select their rosters, rather than an AFC vs. NFC format. Last January, Goodell notes, Peyton and Eli Manning could have "drafted" their Pro Bowl teammates.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today responded to the NFL's decision to return the Pro Bowl to Hawaii.

"We have kept in close contact with NFL officials, and I am very pleased that the Pro Bowl is returning to Hawaii in 2014. Like thousands of fans, I thoroughly enjoyed the last Pro Bowl game held in January at our Aloha Stadium. Opportunities to reach national and international audiences such as this will help maintain our state's positive economic momentum, particularly in the visitor industry. 

"I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Hawaii Tourism Authority and our partners in working collaboratively with the NFL to ensure the continuation of this valuable Hawaii-NFL partnership and the game's fourth decade in Hawaii.

"The NFL has recognized that the Pro Bowl is at home in the islands."

Mayor Kirk Caldwell had this to say about the decision.

"Honolulu and the Pro Bowl make a winning team.  Oahu residents love our yearly visit from NFL superstars and their families almost as much as the all stars love our island paradise.  The event is a huge boost for our tourism and hospitality industry, bringing thousands of visitors to the City and County of Honolulu.  The NFL is an active and generous community partner, providing helmets to local high school players, helping to refurbish public school playing fields, organizing family days, and much more.  I'm so pleased they'll be back again next year."

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.