Top-notch festivities surround Pro Bowl
BY GARY CHUN / firstname.lastname@example.org
The behemoth sport/entertainment machine known as the National Football League will roll into town again for the annual Pro Bowl, and even though there’s always any number of events surrounding Pro Bowl weekend, there’s also a game to consider.
Sure, a big attraction for players has always been a paid vacation in Hawaii, but the tropical malaise that sets in has adversely affected the game to the point that last year the game approximated a lackluster exhibition of touch football. In October, Commissioner Roger Goodell commented that as currently played, the Pro Bowl was not up to competitive NFL standards and was in jeopardy of being eliminated.
Apparently the players got the message. At least star running back Adrian Peterson did. He told a Minneapolis paper Jan. 8 that he will continue to “play hard” like he did during the regular season, where he racked up an amazing 2,000-plus yards after major knee surgery.
That’s great news for locals and visitors alike who enjoy the festivities of the weekend, both independently produced and those officially sanctioned by the league.
Pro Bowl events are a source of economic benefit to the tourist industry and promoters of special events that fly high during the influx of football fans — and might not attract a crowd without the game to serve as a linchpin.
“It would be sad to see the game go,” said Terrence Qamar (aka MC T-QRON), who is helping promote a gig by groundbreaking hip-hop DJ Premier at Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber on Jan. 25. “It brings in so many people from all over, and it’s nice to see a boost in the local economy.”
The game has helped him put on hip-hop shows that, while still “a calculated risk,” have been successful — especially with the addition of mainland fans.
Qamar helped put on three shows during Pro Bowl weekends past: E-40 at O Lounge (now The Republik) in 2006, Too $hort in 2009 and Trina in 2011 at the now-defunct Pipeline Cafe.
“Having the Pro Bowl here has a huge impact on the local economy,” said Hawaii Pacific Entertainment CEO Lincoln Jacobe, whose company is coordinating the Warren Moon Pro Bowl VIP Party at the Pearl on Thursday night, and an NFL-sanctioned concert featuring SNDCLSH (DJ duo Lupe Fiasco and Sky Gellatly) at The Republik on Jan. 25.
“There’s an extensive list of pregame parties and shows,” Jacobe said. “Hotels are utilizing private rooms and pool areas for parties. There are charity events, like a youth football and cheer clinic in Kapiolani Park next Saturday, and the VIP party benefiting Warren Moon’s foundation.
“The Pro Bowl is a signature event at the beginning of the year,” Jacobe said. “All of these events use equipment from local vendors and purveyors. Everyone wins because of this big revenue stream the NFL provides with its fan base, so having it return next year is crucial to us.”
Here’s what’s on tap leading up to the game:
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23
11TH ANNUAL ALLSTAR PRO VIP KICKOFF PARTY
» 9 p.m.-4 a.m., Zanzabar Nightclub, 2255 Kuhio Ave.; $20, $75 VIP, 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
One of the longest-running Pro Bowl-related parties kicks off the festivities, hosted by Trent Williams of the Washington Redskins.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23 and THURSDAY, JANUARY 24
Top Hawaii surfers and NFL players get together for surf, golf and a concert, all to benefit the Mauli Ola Foundation that support programs for children and adults with life-threatening illnesses and disabilities. During the day on the 23rd, players will get in the water along with professional surfers Alana Blanchard, Maya Gabeira, Coco Ho, Rochelle Ballard, Makua Rothman, Kala Alexander, Jason Magallanes, Jamie O’Brien, Reef McIntosh and John John Florence. That night, a concert at Surfer, the Bar, will feature John Cruz and Paula Fuga. The next day on the 24th, players and surfers will hit the links.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24
WARREN MOON PRESENTS THE 2013 PRO BOWL VIP PARTY
» 6-9 p.m., Pearl Ultra Lounge; $50 ($25 after-party, 9 p.m.-3 a.m.), 944-8000 or 2013probowlvipparty.eventbrite.com
The member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame regularly hosts this party, with free cocktails, food and access to the special players and legends section in the club. (“Dress code is fashionably hot.”) It benefits Moon’s Crescent Moon Foundation, founded in 1989, which provides scholarships to high school students in need.
» 8 p.m., The Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace; $50-$150, 855-235-2867 or flavorus.com
The blinged-out Georgia rapper, born Tauheed Epps, who formerly went by the stage name Tity Boi, broke out big time as a guest rapper on Kanye West’s “Mercy,” went on to guest on Ciara’s “Sweat” and is currently promoting his debut album “Based on a T.R.U. Story.” (The West song and album are all Grammy nominees.) Three singles have been released from 2 Chainz’s debut: the boomin’ “No Lie” (featuring Drake), the booty-loving “Birthday Song” (featuring West) and “I’m Different.”
FRIDAY, JANUARY 25
DOWNTOWN TOUCHDOWN — EAT THE STREET PRO BOWL STYLE
» 4-9 p.m., 555 South St.; free, streetgrindz.com/probowl
The popular monthly street food festival in Kakaako gets football-crazy. Special to the festival will be NFL city-themed food from participating vendors, game ticket giveaways and special guest appearances by NFL players past and present, cheerleaders and mascots.
2013 WINTER BOWL MELE
» 8 p.m., The Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace; $20, $60 VIP, 855-235-2867 or flavorus.com
Rapper/actor J-Boog headlines a bill of island music favorites, with Maoli, the Mana’o Company, Hot Rain, Irie Love and Josh Tatofi.
PEPSI CONCERT FOR THE 2013 PRO BOWL FEATURING SNDCLSH
» 8 p.m., The Republik; $30, 855-235-2867 or flavorus.com
A DJ electronica collaboration between rapper Lupe Fiasco and Sky Gellatly, a marketing strategist and artist manager, who paired up in 2011. The duo has released an EP, “Don’t Drop the Flag.”
THE SIXTH ANNUAL PLAYER LOUNGE HAWAII 2013
» 9 p.m.-4 a.m., Zanzabar Nightclub, 2255 Kuhio Ave.; $20 general, $100 VIP at the door
More dancing and clubgoer schmoozing at Zanzabar, hosted by Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants, with an appearance and performance by Donald Trump’s BQ Girls.
» 10 p.m.-2 a.m. at Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber; $20, call/text 723-0481 for tickets
With the late MC Guru, DJ Premier was one-half of the legendary hip-hop duo Gang Starr, and is arguably the genre’s greatest producer of all time.
Premier headlines a bill that includes the Geto Boys’ DJ Ready Red and DJ Wizzard from Hawaii. Free valet parking will help ease guests into this Waikiki venue.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26
PRO BOWL ‘OHANA DAY
» 8:30-11:30 a.m., Aloha Stadium; free
Both AFC and NFC squads will be taking light practice sessions, and players will meet and greet fans.
There will be fan contests, player interviews, NFL video features, and a preview of the Pro Bowl game entertainment, plus a special kids’ zone section with contests and interplay with the NFL team mascots.
THE THIRD ANNUAL PRO VIP CELEBRITY POOL SPLASH
» Noon-7 p.m., Queen Kapiolani Hotel, 150 Kapahulu Ave.; $30, $75 VIP, 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com
Join the players and guests on the hotel’s pool deck. With celebrity guest DJs Jay Faire and Rude Dogg.
NFL PRO BOWL SATURDAY NIGHT PARTY
» 6-8 p.m., Royal Hawaiian Hotel; $199, 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com
The iconic Waikiki hotel will offer regional fare, specialty drinks, live music and a performance by Pro Bowl cheerleaders at this official Pro Bowl event.
PRO BOWL ALL-STAR BLOCK PARTY
» 7-10 p.m. along Kalakaua Avenue; free
A grand gathering of food vendors, entertainment on six stages, local craft and NFL merchandise booths, with a smattering of NFL players, cheerleaders and mascots. Includes a display of the Pro Bowl trophy at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in the Royal Hawaiian Center.
SOUL SESSIONS VOL. 3 PRESENTS ROBIN THICKE
» 8 p.m., Blaisdell Concert Hall; $49-$150, 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com
Thicke’s concert was originally scheduled for November, but it’s back on the docket just in time for Pro Bowl weekend. The show is part of a series that has included Erykah Badu and Musiq Soulchild.
The singer-songwriter (son of actor Alan Thicke) recently appeared as a guest mentor on NBC’s “The Voice” and a participant in ABC’s “Duets” collaborative contest.
PARTY WITH THE STARS
» 9 p.m.-4 a.m., Zanzabar Nightclub, 2255 Kuhio Ave.; $30 general and $100 VIP at the door
The late-night partying just doesn’t stop, this time hosted by hip-hop superstar Akon.
SUNDAY, JAN. 27 (GAME DAY)
PRO BOWL TOUCHDOWN CLUB
» 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Aloha Stadium parking lot 8B, north end; free
A food court, entertainment and an opportunity to get NFL player and cheerleader autographs.
PRO BOWL TAILGATE PARTY
» 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Richardson Field; $225, 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com
This official event offers cuisine from premier restaurants, complimentary bar, entertainment and appearances by NFL stars and cheerleaders.
2013 PRO BOWL: TRAIN
» 2 p.m. Jan. 27 , Aloha Stadium; $45-$130, 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com
The big enchilada, and culmination of the week’s party and events.
This year’s game will feature music by Train during the opening ceremonies. That’s a change from the past two years, so if you’re a Train fan, don’t arrive late. The popular band was last here in Hawaii in December 2010, at the Blaisdell Arena:
Train will perform “Hey Soul Sister” with 600 ukulele players, lead singer Pat Monahan told ABC Radio.
On Monahan’s blog at patmonahan.net, he said, “I shoot an episode of Hawaii 5-0 while I’m there as well. … Fun and its in Hawaii (my favorite place on earth).”
EIGHTH ANNUAL PRO BALLERZ BALL
» 9 p.m.-4 a.m., Zanzabar Nightclub, 2255 Kuhio Ave.; $75, 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
The all-star players wind down after the game with this “ballerz” club event, hosted by Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks.