HONOLULU (KHON2) – Aloha Stadium will host an NFL preseason football game next year.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority has worked out a deal with the Los Angeles Rams to play a game here in what officials call a win-win for everybody.
It hasn't been determined who the Rams will play, but the state says this is a deal that will bring big bucks to the economy. If all goes well, the partnership could go beyond next year.
With the Pro Bowl now a fading memory, the LA Rams are stepping in to fill the void. The HTA board has unanimously approved the proposal for the team to play at Aloha Stadium next August.
"We know back in the day that this was Rams country. We left and now we're back, and we want to make it Rams country again," said Jason Griffiths, LA Rams vice president of partnership sales.
With the LA Clippers playing NBA exhibition games here the past few years, the Rams decided why not football?
State officials estimate that about 10,000 fans will fly in from the mainland to watch the game. Much like the Pro Bowl, there will be lots of other activities leading up to the main event.
"With 4.5 million fans that we have, they said about half a million folks this year said hey, if they had a chance, the first place they'd want to go on vacation is in Hawaii. So if we can help do that and push it, that's pretty exciting," said Griffiths.
Details of the contract are still being worked out but the state says it should be a worthwhile investment.
"About 11-to-1 type return for this investment which for us, we feel pretty good. That exceeds our threshold that we have for most events," said Sean Dee, HTA marketing committee chairman.
Dee says a partnership like this also brings a wealth of resources to the community that only an NFL organization is capable of providing.
"There's things they can deploy into the community, whether it's mentors for young kids or just exposure to the things that an NFL team has to offer. So we're really excited about the economic benefits but also the community benefits," said Dee.
This deal also includes a marketing blitz for Hawaii tourism during an LA Rams regular season game next month, which includes a halftime show with Hawaii musicians.