HONOLULU--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The following is a statement attributable to Mike McCartney, president and CEO of Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, regarding the future of the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii:
We are pleased that the NFL Pro Bowl will return to Hawaii in 2016 and look forward to welcoming the fans, players and their families back to our Hawaiian Islands. We are grateful for our more than 30-year relationship with the NFL and look to continue our friendship for many years to come. We have also reached an agreement with the NFL that would allow the option for Hawaii to host the game again in 2017.
In 2014, the Pro Bowl attracted 47,270 attendees and reached 11.4 million viewers across the U.S., making it the most watched all-star game in the nation, resulting in more than $200 million in media value. It also contributed an estimated $71.9 million* in direct visitor spending in the state, not inclusive of the production costs of the game and events surrounding Pro Bowl week, which is estimated at an additional $8.9 million.
The new format for the Pro Bowl also includes a draft pick that is televised live from Hawaii, creating additional buzz leading up to the game and more coverage of the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii’s support in hosting the event in 2016 will be $5 million, and there will be greater exposure of our state during the traditionally cold winter months.
The HTA plans to reprioritize the funds that would have supported the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl to pay for the 2016 and 2017 games and to assist with other initiatives that will help diversify our tourism economy which includes intensifying our efforts in Asia and the meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) market, two areas that have been gaining momentum for the state.
We want to extend our aloha to the NFL and wish them well for the 2015 game in Arizona, and look forward to welcoming them back to Hawaii in 2016.
*The 2014 NFL Pro Bowl visitor spending was calculated to also include expenditures by travel companions of the Pro Bowl attendees.