Pro Bowl shirts arrive in Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Pro Bowl shirts arrive in Hawaii

Vikram Watumull Vikram Watumull

By Roger Mari - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - For 30 years, the NFL Pro Bowl has driven big bucks into Hawaii's economy. The announcement that the game will move to Miami means it "won't" be business as usual in 2010 for many retailers, and one local business in particular.

For the past 18 years, Happy Shirts has been the main manufacturer of Pro Bowl memorabilia sold in Hawaii. Today their shipment of t-shirts arrived for what could be the final NFL game played in the islands.

Happy Shirts will have little to smile about after this year. The event they've become accustomed to generating much of their annual profits is leaving our islands.

It's not the best way to kick-off the New Year and the future isn't looking too good either.

"Now with the Pro Bowl being gone, I don't know. 2009 and the first part of 2010 might be pretty bleak for us," said Happy Shirts Owner Vikram Watumull.

Happy Shirts will have to find another way to make up for the pro bowl loss at least until the NFL returns to Hawaii.

"We're hoping that somewhere, maybe there will be an NFL exhibition game that we continue to work with the NFL, but those numbers will be really hard to replace for us," said Vikram Watumull.

Happy Shirts will produce about 150-thousand pieces of merchandise for this year's NFL Pro Bowl. They are confident sales will be high up until the final whistle is blown.

"The public realizing this might be the last year for the game would want get maybe that last souvenir because who knows when it will be back," said Vikram Watumull.

The Pro Bowl brings in about 30-million dollars. During this downed economy many hope in the future the Pro Bowl will rotate between the Sunshine State and the Aloha State.

Happy Shirts will continue printing out t- shirts, caps, and other souvenirs between now and the day of the game which is February 8th. Merchandise should appear in retail stores before the end of this week.

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