Winter Baseball Coming Back to Hawaii

Chef Jay Matsukawa
Chef Jay Matsukawa

(KHNL) - Chef Jay Matsukawa enjoys cooking Hawaiian food but he figures there's an additional reason people come to The Willows restaurant, the ambience.

"Kind of piece of paradise in the middle of kind of residential city area," Matsukawa said.

The restaurant says about a quarter of its customers are tourists but it could always use more.

"We don't push for them, we don't bring tour buses but we do get a lot of japanese and mainland tourists here," Matsukawa said. "I think that would be great for us."

Businesses catering to tourists could receive a boost from a revived Hawaii Winter Baseball League.

"One very important thing for Hawaii is to showcase Hawaii as a place to be, to visit," said Andy Scott, who's negotiating television deals for the league.

The league plans to broadcast games in Hawaii on our sister station K-5 the Home Team on a delayed basis. It's working on deals to broadcast in Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan and the Mainland U.S.

Play begins in October.

"We anticipate that we'll be in 75 to 80 million homes in those territories reaching over 240 million people," Scott said.

A summer game played in the winter under the sun. To some that sounds like a good way to feature some of the best things about Hawaii.

"The weather never changes out here," Matsukawa said."I think it would be great to enjoy some baseball, enjoy some good food and just take it all in."

For The Willows, that could mean more customers lining up for the buffet.