Sunday’s Pro Bowl was the final game in an $8 million, two-year deal between the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the National Football League (NFL), leaving the site for next year’s all-star match-up undecided.
According to the HTA, the game provides an economic boost to the state economy. It said the 2011 Pro Bowl generated $28 million in spending and attracted 17,000 visitors.
A number of NFL players interviewed in a Jan. 25 Pacific Business News report expressed their hope that future Pro Bowls also be held on Oahu.
“I would most definitely prefer it to be here,” Greg Jennings, a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, said in the Pacific Business News report. “We would definitely love to continue it over here.”
The NFL Pro Bowl has been held every year in Honolulu since 1980 with one exception: the 2010 game was played a week prior to the Super Bowl in Miami, the first time the Pro Bowl took place prior to the NFL's championship game. The 2011 Pro Bowl returned to Honolulu but was also played a week before the NFL championship.
“The history [of the Pro Bowl] is here,” Green Bay linebacker Clay Mathews told Pacific Business News, explaining that the appeal of making the Pro Bowl is a trip to Hawaii.
Next year’s Super Bowl will be held in New Orleans, and some have speculated the NFL will play its all-pro game the week prior in the Big Easy.
According to Hawaii state officials, negotiations with the NFL regarding next year’s Pro Bowl are ongoing.