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Arizona outmuscles Hawaii for 2015 Pro Bowl

By Ferd Lewis

LAST UPDATED: 04:48 a.m. HST, Apr 10, 2014

The "heavy" involvement of Arizona Cardinals President Mike Bidwell helped move the Pro Bowl out of Aloha Stadium for what will be just the second time in 36 years.

Glendale, Ariz. will host the 2015 Pro Bowl on Jan. 25, 2015, at the University of Phoenix Stadium, piggy backing the Super Bowl, which will be held on Feb. 1, 2015 at the same site.

The Pro Bowl will return to Aloha Stadium in 2016 and may also be held here in 2017, pending agreement of the NFL and Hawaii, officials said.

The NFL's annual all-star game came to Aloha Stadium in 1980 and has been played here every year except 2010, when it was held in South Florida in conjunction with the Super Bowl.

An NFL source said Bidwell, who pushed the joint Pro Bowl/Super Bowl package with Commissioner Roger Goodell, was, "heavily involved" in securing the deal. The Cardinals and the Arizona Super Bowl Committee will host the Pro Bowl and related events.

The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce heralded the Pro Bowl announcement as an "economic touchdown for Arizona."

The Hawaii Tourism Authority declined comment.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said in a statement, "While we would like to have had the Pro Bowl in Hawaii in 2015, the return of the Pro Bowl in 2016 provides the state with an opportunity to showcase our islands unique culture and beauty. Our state stands ready to create another memorable experience for the world's best football players, their families and the fans."

The Pro Bowl will return to Hawaii Jan. 31, 2016 and be shown on ESPN. Super Bowl L will be held a week later in San Francisco.

The NFL said both it and Hawaii have options for the 2017 game and a "collective" decision will be made later.    

The 2015 Pro Bowl will be the sixth consecutive game played before the Super Bowl and the second under the new player "draft" format, the NFL said.

The league said tickets for 2015 will be available first to Arizona Cardinals season ticket members and annual Pro Bowl season ticket holders. Pro Bowl annual ticket subscribers in Hawaii will maintain their account status for any future games at Aloha Stadium.

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boshio wrote:
The Pro- Bowl has never been for the fans, nor for the players. It always has and even more so now…...its the money. As money runs america, so does it runs the NFL. The players and fans are now called the pawns.
on April 9,2014 | 08:41AM
lee1957 wrote:
What a cynic!
on April 9,2014 | 11:08AM
localguy wrote:
Remember back to the last time the Pro Bowl was played on the mainland, some players didn't bother going. As they said, we have already played here, nothing special about Florida in the winter. A direct cut at the NFL for kow towing to a whining state governor who got the Pro Bowl. Expect the same in Arizona. Like is this a place a pro bowl player would take their family and spend extra time? What to do in Arizona in the winter? Nothing. NFL kow towed to the Arizona governor, what next. Players have made it clear, Pro Bowl in Hawaii is the Gold Standard. What they earn after a year of tough play. They spend extra time here, the families love it. Arizona? Really?
on April 9,2014 | 08:45AM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
What a turn of events! Arizona was in danger of losing the Super Bowl just a few months ago because of the House bill that would've allowed businesses to discriminate against same-sex married couples. Not only did they get to keep the Super Bowl, but now they're getting the Pro Bowl as a bonus.
on April 9,2014 | 12:03PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Actually, NFL got complaints that having it in Hawaii all the time was discriminatory against whites as every crowd shot showed majority,strange looking non-whites that Arizona representatives claimed were illegal immigrants.
on April 9,2014 | 04:24PM
Kawipoo wrote:
You got one thing right - strange looking is spot on.
on April 10,2014 | 04:16AM
oxtail01 wrote:
Looked myself in the mirror this morning and nearly scared myself to a heart attack.
on April 10,2014 | 10:18AM
mitt_grund wrote:
Maybe this is intended for the mainland fans who don't like to be in the minority when they come here. Arizona's attitude toward Hispanics and non-whites is considerably different than in Hawaii. They quickly learn their place.

Went to Tucson to check out their retirement communities. Beautiful, tranquil places. The predominant adobe, pueblo-style architecture blends in with the landscape, even the cactus and yucca in graveled front yards. Unfortunately, they lost points when I saw them questioning and directing non-whites to the service entrance and indicated they had to enter there. They thought my last name was Irish, so SURPRISE!

So few non-whites in their communities - you know - dark, brown or yaller skin and particularly those dark or slanted eyes. The library in one of those communities even banned children, so, even children are excluded. Too noisy, I guess.). Even heard that domestic help were discouraged from frequenting local "public" venues. They were expected to go to their home areas and use their own facilities. Heard one Hispanic apologetically explain she was picking up books for her employer, a retiree in the community. Expected to be queried at any moment for my green card (don't have one) or picture ID.

The local police will probably card and frisk every non-white just before the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl and keep 'em out. Probably because we all look FOB or from across the Rio Grande. So, they will be able to have a game free of having to worry about "those" people.

on April 10,2014 | 05:17AM
oxtail01 wrote:
"They quickly learn their place...." What a f....ed up racial slur that is.
on April 10,2014 | 10:24AM
kainalu wrote:
Commandant Goodell and the NFL continue to rub Hawaii's face in it. The game all but dead and buried until Hawaii rescued it. And this it the thanks we get.
on April 9,2014 | 08:51AM
PCWarrior wrote:
Wow. Fake football coming back and we going pay $4 million to a bunch of billionaires for it. Great work HTA.
on April 9,2014 | 10:04AM
gobows wrote:
but Hawaii will reap the benefits well over this investment.
on April 9,2014 | 04:12PM
Hank13 wrote:
Private sector reaps financial benefit. The state has already admitted it doesn't get back the 4 mil WE pay. The NFL should be paying us. They need us more than we need them.
on April 9,2014 | 05:17PM
mitt_grund wrote:
Corporations are people, too. The Supreme Court has so ruled. So, they get the same consideration or better by the state and city. Just look at Kakaako. Never thought Abercrombie would go rogue from his original liberal, bleeding heart stance, and end up courting developers and contractors. Oh, yeah, he also wanted to sock it to retirees, giving his own double retirement income and generous household allowance as example. Yup, we all have the same Fed/State/City retirements as Neil, and the same $$$ household allowance given the governor of this state. (Neil, you've lost your common touch. You now treat the rank and file as rank and common. "Let them eat Cake" Abercrombie.) Caldwell, well, he's a lawyer. Comfortable with anyone who can pay their and his way. LOL
on April 10,2014 | 05:32AM
Hank13 wrote:
Welcome back as long as the State doesn't subsidize the return. No mention about the amount the state pays, never gets fully returned in taxes. Let the private sector pay the NFL. They benefit the most.
on April 9,2014 | 08:54AM
tod wrote:
With the absence of the Pro-Bowl next year, it would be a good opportunity to collect information related to tourism during that week in order to determine how big the drop-off is to our economy in the absence of the event. Pro-Bowl proponents always tout the impact the event has to our economy. Now we'll get to see how big that impact is. It will also let us know how much money the state should offer the NFL each year for the event. If we're paying more $ than we are getting back in tax revenue, then it's time to re-think the usefulness of keeping it here.
on April 9,2014 | 08:57AM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
That's a great idea.
on April 9,2014 | 12:04PM
steven_mark wrote:
You obviously don't go to Waikiki during Pro Bowl week. The place is full of tourists. You see a lot of stores selling NFL merchandise, mainlanders wearing their team jerseys, parties featuring former and current players and cheerleaders, a parade and street festival offering performance opportunities for local bands, food vendors and arts and craft stalls. It's not just tax revenue going to the state--it's all those businesses that get an extra few days of good business, with the profits then trickling down through the economy. And the tourists have a good time and often plan to come back. And I don't see any locals complaining either, especially when their kid gets an autograph from a player. I don't mind doing a true study of the economic benefits of the Pro Bowl, but I don't think you should just take a one week's worth of tax revenue and do a comparison. There are longer term and secondary benefits to consider as well, which need to be factored into the decision of whether to continue to host the game.
on April 9,2014 | 12:51PM
oxtail01 wrote:
We'll get zero white folks from Arizona during that period, which will amount to about 10 people. Arizonians are afraid to come to Hawaii anyway as this place has too many strange looking aliens for their comfort.
on April 9,2014 | 04:28PM
Bdpapa wrote:
We don't want the Pro Bowl. We want a regular season game!
on April 9,2014 | 09:32AM
false wrote:
True but let's settle for the Pro Bowl and work on a game getting here. If they can play around the world why not Hawaii. Where are the tourism people who get paid some bucks? Have they tried to get creative by working with the hotels, airlines, etc especially the NFL to get a game here? I wonder if we even could afford the ticket prices?
on April 9,2014 | 09:45AM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
Not if our local "kama'aina" businesses get control of it. If they do, be prepared for the "kama'aina" treatment (high prices).
on April 9,2014 | 11:00AM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Why not enjoy both - or at least the $$$ from it.
on April 9,2014 | 09:46AM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
Aloha Stadium is not equipped for that. A meaningless exhibition game and a regular season game with playoff implications are different animals.
on April 9,2014 | 12:06PM
dlum003 wrote:
I agree!!! Heck even a preseason game!
on April 9,2014 | 03:26PM
oxtail01 wrote:
You gonna pay thousand bucks for a ticket?
on April 9,2014 | 04:31PM
Locokane wrote:
Now that the Pro Bowl will not be played here until 2016, the legislature should reallocate $1.4M used for the Pro Bowl from the Hawaii Tourism Authority's budget to where it is needed to fund programs for the taxpayers.
on April 9,2014 | 10:14AM
paniolo wrote:
2015 the wives going stay home. 2016 they going come to Hawaii.
on April 9,2014 | 11:05AM
BillD wrote:
Congratulations! You are the best at what you do, here's a free trip to Phoenix!
on April 9,2014 | 11:09AM
frontman wrote:
I think the town that hoasts the Super Bowl should also get the pro bowl. Great move NFL and it saves Hawaii taxpayers some money.
on April 9,2014 | 11:56AM
lee1957 wrote:
I guess this clears the way for Neil to replace the tourist dollar with his weekend same sex marriage bacchanal.
on April 9,2014 | 12:02PM
rnamiki wrote:
Let them have the Pro Bowl. Like Arizona is everybody's vacation destination. Yea Ryte. Why not Las Vegas? Way better place to watch cartoon football.
on April 9,2014 | 12:02PM
eastside808 wrote:
I wonder how much Arizona paid to have the Pro Bowl played in Arizona? Must have been more than what Hawaii was willing to pay. That's okay cause the local people going to get enough football watching the UH Warriors have a winning season. Go Warriors!!!
on April 9,2014 | 12:46PM
braddahkeems wrote:
By taking baby steps to a real football game, they should try to make preseason game with dallas, San francisco , Pittsburgh , and Raiders since thats the biggest fan base in Hawaii..I wonder... and if it works, we should think about building a whole new and big stadium, if possible...I know I'm dreaming though...
on April 9,2014 | 01:07PM
huponews wrote:
Hawaii, had thirty years to build 4 tower luxury boxes in 4 corners of Aloha stadium. The owners and friends, plus the commissioner want to watch the game in class....all about comfort but nobody's going to say it. Aloha pro bowl, against the wishes of the player's and families. Things never change!
on April 9,2014 | 01:31PM
Skyler wrote:
Not sure why they play the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl, really. Just means you don't get the best of the 'Pros' in the game because they're afraid they'll get hurt - or something.
on April 9,2014 | 01:43PM
juscasting wrote:
Exactly and you don't get to see the Super Bowl champs play either! Bad move they made moving it before the big game.
on April 9,2014 | 01:55PM
808_puhi wrote:
so who is getting the underhand,sugar daddy handshake on this one? the players don't want any part of any other site,other than Hawaii for this game.
on April 9,2014 | 01:43PM
FLIPTOP2 wrote:
What a bunch of political BS!!! I say, give this all to the NFL and let them "suck it in" when fans (especially in Hawaii) no longer care to watch/participate in this event.
on April 9,2014 | 03:18PM
dlum003 wrote:
It'll be so VERY hard, but we'll all have to go on living won't we? They can have it ppphhhhtt.
on April 9,2014 | 03:25PM
solo3808 wrote:
thank the midget abercrombie for this one.
on April 9,2014 | 03:43PM
buds4life wrote:
Money, politics, BS. Why are we beholden to the NFL? Let Goodell stick it to Hawaii every other year. He doesn't care that if it wasn't for Hawaii the Pro Bowl would be dead. He doesn't give a sh&t. It's about time we stick it to Goodell and the greedy owners and just say no.
on April 9,2014 | 05:17PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
The HVCB should use some of that money earmarked for the 2015 Pro Bowl to purchase ad space on NBC during the Pro Bowl. The spot they air could say something to the effect of "We'll be waiting for you in 2016. Aloha!".
on April 9,2014 | 05:45PM
gmkhawaii wrote:
Let ARIZONA have the "PRO-BOWL"? the actual game itself has turned into a joke! The NFL and it's ridiculous ticket prices along with some of the super ridiculous salaries! KEEEEEEEP 'UM!!!
on April 9,2014 | 06:04PM
Hank13 wrote:
How many tickets does 4mil buy?
on April 9,2014 | 07:23PM
bsdetection wrote:
Tax payer support of professional sports is and always has been a money losing proposition for the taxpayers and local governments and a boondoggle for the team owners. Forget the Pro Bowl; it isn't worth it.
on April 9,2014 | 08:31PM
paintslinger wrote:
That will be it....nobody wants to go to Arizona to see a football game when they can be here. This will most likely be the last time they move it out of the Islands.
on April 9,2014 | 11:23PM
clum56 wrote:
I don't know what NFL player and family would not want to come to Hawai'i for a vacation where the weather is almost a guaranteed 75-80 degrees at game time and also for other activites.
on April 10,2014 | 02:19AM
puuloke wrote:
The players and their families can have just as much fun counting rattlesnakes, as playing on the beaches of Hawaii. Show me the money and I'll show you the next ProBowl site.
on April 10,2014 | 06:41AM
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