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Mayor Mufi Hannemann warmly welcomes participants and fans to the Pan-Pacific Championship 2008 professional soccer tournament that will be held here Wednesday and Saturday.

“This is a very important event for our community,” Mayor Hannemann said. “Like the Pro Bowl, the Honolulu Marathon and other high-profile sporting events, the Pan-Pacific Championship 2008 will draw national and international attention to our beautiful island and demonstrate that it is a great location for world-class happenings.”

Mayor Hannemann said he is especially proud that Oahu’s own Brian Ching will be among the international stars, such as L.A. Galaxy player David Beckham, who will participate in the tournament. Ching is a forward with the Houston Dynamo team.

“Brian has always been an excellent role model for our youth, and we’re thrilled to have him come home to participate in this exciting event,” Mayor Hannemann said.

The tournament is the most prominent soccer event to ever come to Hawaii. The City is assisting by providing access to its spacious Waipio Soccer Complex facilities, where many of the athletes will train and practice, as well as providing support for youth soccer clinics.

Hannemann in September announced the formation of the Honolulu County Sports Commission to support local sports and attract new events as a means of stimulating the growth of Hawaii’s sports industry.

“Our excellent City sports facilities, great weather, easy access from destinations across the globe, terrific hotels, and warm people combine to make this the ideal location for athletics,” Hannemann said.

The City is also reminding soccer fans and visitors that TheBus, Honolulu’s world-class transportation system, offers routes that provide service between Waikiki and the tournament at Aloha Stadium.

Riders can board the following buses on Kuhio Avenue, Kalia Road, or along Ala Moana Boulevard:

• Route 20, Pearlridge

• Route 42, Ewa Beach

• Route 42, Pearlridge

• Route 42, Waipahu Transit Center

After the tournament, riders can board Waikiki-bound buses across the street from Aloha Stadium, on Kamehameha Highway fronting Richardson Field. For more information, visit http://www.thebus.org or call 848-5555 between 5:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. daily.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

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