Pro Bowl Fate Up in the Air

Jennine Young
Jennine Young

WAIKIKI (KHNL) -- Pro Bowl weekend is here and with it comes all-star football players, thousands of visitors, and big bucks to the Aloha State.

But will this big game soon be leaving Hawaii? The Pro Bowl's called Hawaii home for nearly three decades. It's definitely a fan favorite, and not just amongst our local football fanatics. People travel from across the country to see this game. Despite the fact it's a sold-out show each year, the Bowl's status in Hawaii is on shaky ground.

At sunset on the beach Friday night, a football movie played on the big screen to mark the Pro Bowl weekend.

Before the movie started, there was some entertainment starring the Pro Bowl cheerleaders. This is the 29th year of the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. But after next year, the fate of the game remains up in the air.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has indicated he wants to make some changes. One plan is to have the game played in the same city that hosts the Superbowl, either the Sunday or Monday before.

If that happens, Hawaii would lose out on an estimated $30 million a year in visitor spending.

"I think it's ridiculous. I think the Pro Bowl is Hawaii. That's one of the reasons it's special to come here and it just amazes me they would think of sending it anywhere else," said Jan Reilly, a visitor from Dallas.

"Look at how many people that are just watching the game plan. And I was here last here for the block party. The streets were just packed. You could hardly move. That's how many people came to the pro bowl for the party," said Jennine Young of Kaimuki.

Talks to keep the Pro Bowl here are on-going. Hawaii actually pays the NFL $4 million a year to be the host city.

The annual rivalry between NFC and AFC all-stars have played out at Aloha Stadium since 1980. Game day is Sunday at 11:30 a.m.