Loss of Pro Bowl would hurt Hawaii
NFL team owners are considering moving future Pro Bowls to the mainland at sites near the year's Super Bowl.
When National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell was in town last February for the Pro Bowl, he talked glowingly about Hawaii with hopes for continuing a relationship that began in 1980. Eight months later, Goodell talks of time running out on Hawaii and moving pro football's future all-star game to a venue near the site of the Super Bowl. His remarks are tantamount to blocking below the waist.
NFL team owners met recently in Philadelphia, and Goodell said they are considering playing the Pro Bowl a week before the Super Bowl instead of a week after the championship game, and playing it at various sites "on a rotating basis, perhaps around a Super Bowl location," according to a league spokesman.
No vote was taken after the owners' discussion, but the spokesman said Goodell "wants to bring more focus to the Pro Bowl and our star players."
Contrast that with the statement of an aloha shirt-clad Goodell in Honolulu for the last Pro Bowl: "I've been involved with this game for a number of years. It's been a great relationship with the state, and we hope to continue that ... We are talking about some things that might improve it, and it's going to be good for the state and good for us."
The state pays $4 million a year to the NFL to host the Pro Bowl, which generates $30 million in visitor spending and $3 million in state tax revenue. Ending such a reliable source of tourism and what has become an NFL tradition should not come to an end without an energized defense.
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