Pro Bowl May End Up Being Blacked Out In Hawaii

While the world turns it’s eyes to Tampa this weekend for Super Bowl XLIII there are a lot of people in Hawaii more concerned with the state of next week’s Pro Bowl. While the bad economy didn’t seem to have any effect on the sale of Super Bowl tickets this year, with the game selling out pretty easily, the same cannot be said of the festivities in Honolulu.

Already a little stung by the blow of finding out that next year’s Pro Bowl will be held in Miami, sales for tickets to this year’s Pro Bowl are going pretty slow. In fact, ever since the game moved to Honolulu in 1980 tickets had long been sold out before Super Bowl weekend arrived, but that’s just not the case this year. Which means that unless people start snapping up the 5,000 unsold seats over the next few days, the game is going to be blacked out in Hawaii.


The NFL on Wednesday said the league’s all-star game could be blacked out on television in Hawaii if the roughly 5,000 remaining tickets are not sold 72 hours before the Feb. 8 game.

“Pro Bowls are usually sold out by now. That’s why we’re particularly concerned,” said Frank Supovitz, the NFL’s senior vice president of events.

Besides the tourism slowdown and economic woes, Supovitz said some fans may not realize tickets are still available. The cheapest seats available are US$45. He’s hoping for a rush of sales in the final days.

I don’t think Supovitz is going to get that rush of sales.  As the excerpt alluded to, not many people are spending the money on vacations to Hawaii these days thanks to the economy, and I don’t think that’s going to change before Friday’s deadline.

Of course, of greater concern for the state of Hawaii’s tourism board is that the Pro Bowl is leaving next year. Last year’s game brought in over $28 million in tourism spending, and another $2.5 million in state taxes alone. That’s a lot of scratch for a state who is very dependent on the dollars of tourists to lose out on every year. Supovitz says that the NFL would “like to be back. It’s now just a question of the details that are required to come to an agreement.”