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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              February 7, 2006

Release No. M-10-06




            Mayor Mufi Hannemann leads Honolulu in welcoming professional football’s brightest to Honolulu this week for Sunday’s 2006 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium.


            “We extend our aloha to the Pro Bowl players and their families,” said Hannemann. “This Sunday will be the 27th Pro Bowl in Honolulu. We look forward to hosting many many more, so join me in welcoming the NFL, the players and their families.”


            Since the NFC stars beat the AFC, 37-27 in 1980, in the first Pro Bowl in Hawaii, the game has brought thousands of visitors and generated hundreds of millions of dollars for Hawaii each winter.


            Despite competition from other cities, Honolulu has remained a favorite of the players and their families. Hannemann has helped keep the Pro Bowl here by negotiating two contract extensions, as director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism under Gov. John Waihee and later, as a special appointee of Gov. Ben Cayetano.


            The City is co-sponsoring the following Pro Bowl Week events, all of which are free and open to the public:

  • Pro Bowl Week Kick-off Rally, noon Thursday (February 9) at Tamarind Park in Downtown Honolulu.  Mayor Hannemann will appear at the annual event that features NFL players, cheerleaders and mascots and entertainment by the Royal Hawaiian Band. The mayor will present a key to NFL officials.
  • Pro Bowl Football Festival, noon to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Kapiolani Park. Families are invited to attend. The festival includes youth football clinics, games, autographs, souvenirs and entertainment. The mayor will be there from 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
  • Pro Bowl ‘Ohana Day Celebration, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, at Aloha Stadium. This is a new event aimed at giving the public – local residents and visitors alike – a sneak preview of the Pro Bowl by showcasing NFL players, community, military, local sports and entertainment all-stars. The celebration includes fan contests and a preview of the Pro Bowl’s half-time entertainment. The mayor will be there from 9 a.m.
  • Sunset on the Beach – Pro Bowl Style, from 5 p.m. Saturday, at Queen’s Beach in Waikiki. A present NFL player and a former NFL player will be honored. This is a tradition Hannemann began last year, when he honored UH football coach June Jones, who previously coached the Atlanta Falcons, and Itula Mili of the Seattle Seahawks. The movies “Polynesian Power” and “Batman Begins” will be shown. Hannemann is scheduled to be  there from 6 to 7 p.m.


            Also on Thursday, Mayor Hannemann will host the annual presentation of grants to local non-profit organizations under the NFL Charities Pro Bowl Grant Program. Through the program, NFL Charities has presented $1.1 million to local charities over the past 11 years. That ceremony will be held in the mayor’s office at 1:30 p.m.


The Pro Bowl kicks off at 1 p.m. Sunday at Aloha Stadium.







            Bill Brennan, 527-6928


            Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

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