Gov. Neil Abercrombie made a surprise entrance during a Pro Bowl press conference today and declared, "we would like to continue to have (the Pro Bowl) and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that that comes about in a fashion that will make everybody very, very happy."
The comments were in contrast to statements last year in which he questioned the state paying $4 million per year to keep the game here.
The Governor’s comments today came shortly after an NFL official had told the gathering "we were aware of the comments of the governor recently."
The Pro Bowl that will be played Sunday at Aloha Stadium is the 32nd and last one currently under contract to the state. Negotiations have been on-going for future games.
A Hawaii Tourism Authority spokesman said he did not expect an announcement this week.
Asked if the 2013 or ’14 game could be held here, Abercrombie said, "we’re gonna certainly do everything we can to make sure that happens. We’ be delighted if they did."
Abercrombie termed the state’s relationship with the NFL "excellent."