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Fans voice concerns about Pro Bowl future

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Jan 27 2013 06:05:00 PM HST

To make sure this isn't the final game, fans agreed that it's up to the players to bring it.

HONOLULU -

The Pro Bowl is not just a game, it's a tradition for some.

"We've been coming here since I was a little kid...we were tailgating against the fence there and we brought visitors, our kids, and our grandkids have enjoyed it," said fan Malana Paige.

"This is going to be my first time watching the professionals actually play, so I'm pretty excited right now," said Chauncey Louis.

The future of the Pro bowl is still unknown, the Hawaii Tourism Authority has had a 30-year relationship with the league. The HTA said the pro bowl has room for improvement.  

"The other things that we are doing in the future are going to be how to bring more Japanese to the game, how to bring more Chinese to the game, Australians, and open up those markets," said Mike McCartney with the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

The state paid more than $4 million to the NFL to host the pro bowl this year, it's a price tag that has been a source of controversy.

"We have 12.5 million viewers and you can't trade Hawaii being talked about through the entire NFL season, so it really is priceless," said McCartney.

Fans said they've heard the threat of ending the Pro Bowl altogether, but don't believe the hype.

"It's like a  vacation for most of the first timers, and the old timers who have been here for 6 to 12 years. I don't think they will let it go," said fan Melvin Acosta.

To make sure Sunday's game isn't the final game, fans agreed that it's up to the players to bring it.

"Hopefully they will play an exciting game so we can keep this event here," said Paige.

"If they want to come back they got to play hard," said Acosta.

The HTA said negotiations have been going on for four months already and will pick up speed again after the NFL Super Bowl.

The agency believes a decision on the Pro Bowl's future will be determined in April or May.

Click here to see photos from the 2013 Pro Bowl on your mobile phone.

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