Players Want to Keep Pro Bowl in Hawaii

By Jason Tang

(KHNL) -- When February comes, so do the All-Stars.

For the 29th year, the NFL Pro Bowl makes it's way across the pacific stopping right here in the islands.

However, this year marks the 2nd to last year on the current contract, and there's been talks of moving the game back to the mainland.

Something some of the players don't want to see.

"Leave it here, ain't nothing wrong with it, it's been here 29 years, can't change stuff now, leave it alone, it ain't broke," said Kassim Osgood with chargers special teams. "Pro Bowl is Hawaii, Hawaii is Pro Bowl, it's a tradition here, 29 years and we need to keep it here in the beautiful aloha state."

If it was only that simple. But with the millions of dollars being discussed, the issue can be a lot more complex. However, the love the players have for the islands is one plus for keeping it here.

"That's one of the biggest things we've got going for us, they love Hawaii, they love bringing their families here, the people of Hawaii always exude the Aloha spirit," said Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

But in the end it's not up to the players or the Mayor, and it's no secret the NFL's considered moving it to a location closer to wherever the Super Bowl is

At the end of the day the NFL is a business, and so it may have to move," said Hannemann.

Mayor Hannemann says he hopes the state can work something out with the league to at least keep the game here on a rotational basis because it's good for the economy.

The people of Hawaii and the visitors who come look forward to this event every year and it does leave a lot of dollars behind that float around in the economy," he said.

And according to Osgood it also effects the game.

When you get announced you're going to the Pro Bowl and then you score a touchdown, the rest of the season you start doing the dance and now what am I going to do now, we're not in Hawaii, so hopefully they keep it here."

The state pays the NFL $4 million a year to have the game here, and according to state records, the event generates more than $30 million from the thousands who come for it.