Work in Sports
NFL talking extension with Hawaii
Posted: Monday January 31, 2000 06:50 PM
HONOLULU (AP) -- The NFL and Hawaii are close to an agreement to keep the Pro Bowl in the islands through 2005.
The game has been played in Honolulu the past 20 years, and the current contract ends after the 2001 game.
Hawaii is paying the league $3.5 million for this year's game, to be played Sunday at Aloha Stadium. It will pay $4 million for the 2001 game.
"We're very close" to a new deal, said City Councilman Mufi Hannemann, who was the lead negotiator for the state on the last contract extension.
"No question the players enjoy it, the league enjoys it, to come out here. We want this game to be here forever because the NFL, Pro Bowl and Hawaii go together."
The NFL acknowledges that talks are taking place to keep the game in Hawaii, despite wooing by other locales the league won't identify.
Orlando, Fla., made a serious pitch to lure the Pro Bowl out of Hawaii in the mid-1990s, but the league decided to keep the game in Hawaii, where it has sold out 19 of 20 times.
In the past, some stars have said they would be less inclined to play in the Pro Bowl if it were moved from Hawaii.