HONOLULU (AP) — The National Football League and the state of Hawaii have an additional two months to talk about holding next year’s Pro Bowl in the islands, tourism officials said Thursday.
Both sides now have until May 31 to opt out of a contract for the Pro Bowl to be held in Honolulu next year, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said. They had faced a Thursday deadline.
“Hawaii loves the Pro Bowl, and we’ve been making a good case with them to keep the game here,” said Leslie Dance, the agency’s vice president of marketing and product development.
The extension allows the sides to keep talking without the deadline pressure, she said.
The tourism agency paid the NFL $5 million to host the all-star game at Aloha Stadium in January. The contract calls for the tourism authority to pay another $5 million to bring it back in 2017.
The game was held in Glendale, Arizona, last year. Hawaii hosted the event for 30 years until the NFL moved it to Miami in 2010.
Dance said the television broadcast of the 2014 Pro Bowl gave Hawaii exposure worth $26.2 million. The game also brought 15,000 visitors to the islands, she said.
The game comes in “the dead of winter on the mainland and some of our other markets. So people get to see how beautiful, warm and sunny it is in Hawaii,” Dance said.