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Lt gov. to head sports initiative

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Oct 15 2013 04:32:00 PM HST

The state wants to corner the sports market, bringing everything from professional teams to youth sports tournaments. It's all part of a new initiative headed up by Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui.

HONOLULU -

 In recent years, Hawaii sports has gone soft.

It has been touch-and-go with the Pro Bowl.

Even the golf staple of the Sony Open has been shaky.

Now the state's putting on its game face, taking a renewed interest in shoring up sports.

Click here to see Catherine Cruz's report.

"We have talked to folks who want to have professional soccer here. I have been working with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and their sports coordinator to enhance these discussions and  to let a lot of these professional leagues that that Hawaii is serious about having them be here," said. Lt. Gov. Shan Tstustui.

The challenge is facilities, whether you are talking the Aloha Stadium or the University of Hawaii.

And there are venues on neighbor islands that hold promise.

Maui's mayor rolled out plans for a regional park this week that could one day compete with Oahu for a chance to play host to tournaments.

”Can you imagine baseball, football, basketball and soccer fields?” said Mayor Alan Arakawa.

The hope is to draw professional teams, college sports, and student athletes.

"We have 600 kids enrolled on rugby on the Big Island. three in Hilo alone and one in Waimea," said David Went of Hawaii Rugby.

 There has always lots of talk about beach volleyball and maybe, just maybe tyring to attract some of fastest boats in the world to our waters.

"Mr. Larry Ellison and the America’s Cup team, was well aware that Hawaii was rooting for them when everyone else said they were finished. Yes, of course we would be delighted to work with the America's Cup people and the international yachting community venue here in Hawaii," said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

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