Hawaii NFL great says moving Pro Bowl from Hawaii is a mistake - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii NFL great says moving Pro Bowl from Hawaii is a mistake

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the NFL's Pro Bowl, aloha will mean good bye in 2015.

The NFL officially announced that next seasons annual all-star game will be played in Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium, which will also host Super Bowl 49.

However, not all is bleak, the NFL says the game will return to the Aloha state on January 31, 2016.

In January, the Aloha Stadium hosted the Pro Bowl for the 34th time and with some revamped rules -- it was a hit, attracting 11.4 million television viewers.
     
Former University of Hawaii Rainbow Jesse Sapolu was a two-time pro bowler as a San Francisco 49er and is relieved his home state of Hawaii will still be connected to the game, but...

"Arizona is not Hawaii, period," said Sapolu who is currently the alumni coordinator for the 49ers. "The Pro Bowl is an awarding combination of having a good season as an individual and you would like to take your family."

This is the second time since 2010 that a Super Bowl hosting city will host the Pro Bowl the week prior. Miami did so following the 2009 season a move that resulted in the highest television audience in a decade with 12.4 million viewers.

While the game may still hold interest for tv ratings, Sapolu feels the game loses some luster for those in attendance.

"When you have a game in the same venue where the game will be played the next week, I think everyone is focused on the biggest game of the season. Which is the Superbowl, so I think it's a disadvantage to have it at the same venue."