Pro Bowl more than a sporting event
BY ELIZABETH KIESZKOWSKI / firstname.lastname@example.org
This year’s Pro Bowl is different. As the NFL puts it, “The stars are realigned.” For the first time, teams have not been chosen out of the AFC and NFC conferences; instead, teams will be drafted by team captains Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders, both Pro Football Hall-of-Famers, during a live “Pro Bowl Draft” show, 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, on NFL Network. Organizers hope to inject new drama and fight into the game.
In the meantime, hordes of sports fans are expected to crowd venues and hotels on Oahu in the days surrounding the big game.
Here’s an early lowdown on some official and significant events surrounding the competition.
“Ohana Day,” with Team Sanders and Team Rice in action, fan contests, player interviews, NFL video features and a preview of Pro Bowl game entertainment, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Jan. 25 at Aloha Stadium; free.
“Pro Bowl All-Star Block Party,” with seven stages in Waikiki hosting live bands and DJs, NFL players, cheerleaders, mascots and local celebs, along with vendors serving up food, crafts and NFL merchandise; 7-10 p.m. Jan. 25, Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki; free.
“Tailgate Party,” with food and drink, appearances by NFL stars, performances by Pro Bowl cheerleaders, live entertainment, celebrity appearances and signature dishes from Hawaii chefs, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Jan. 26, Richardson Field; $249, ticketmaster.com, 866-448-7849.
Pro Bowl Pregame Ceremony, with performances, pageantry, music and cheerleading, 1:45 p.m. Jan. 26, Aloha Stadium; free with Pro Bowl admission.
2014 Pro Bowl, with NFL’s gridiron all-stars in action, with the potential for teammate-vs.-teammate rivalry and new uniforms, 2 p.m. Jan. 26, Aloha Stadium; $45-$130, ticketmaster.com, 866-448-7849.
Pro Bowl Packages, including “Insider Extra” admission to ticketed official Pro Bowl events and a Saturday Night Party outdoors with Pacific regional cuisine, drinks, live music and a performance by the Pro Bowl Cheerleaders, 6 p.m. Jan. 25, Ocean Lawn, Royal Hawaiian Hotel, VIP Tent for the Pro Bowl Tailgate Party and the big game, $969; from $1,849 (sold out) to $2,869 (Royal Hawaiian upgrade, single-occupancy room) to include three nights in a Waikiki hotel. Info: pro-bowl.nflonlocation.com, 877-611-3947.
(Note: The NFL has instituted new bag regulations for Pro Bowl and NFL Ohana Day activities at Aloha Stadium, limiting the size and type of bags that can be brought in. Bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC; cannot exceed 12 inches in height or width; and cannot be more than 6 inches deep. One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc bags or similar) are acceptable, as are small, hand-size clutch bags. An exception is also available for medically necessary items, which must be inspected at a designated gate.)
NFL Youth Education Town Hawaii Legacy Aha’aina Luncheon, a fundraiser for the YET Center-Nanakuli to benefit at-risk youth, with NFL players, cheerleaders, food, prizes and entertainment, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 24, Paradise Cove Ocean Garden, Ko Olina; $125, fb.com/nflyethawaii, 668-9399.
“Player Lounge Hawaii,” with DJ Drama, T.I.’s official DJ (Atlanta), 9 p.m. Jan. 24, The Fix; $30, $75 VIP, $20, $50 pre-sale, 429-0715 or 256-7721.
“Pro Jam 2014,” DJ night hosted by Maurkice Pouncey, center with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Mike Pouncey, center for the Miami Dolphins, 9 p.m. Jan. 25 at Japengo, Hyatt Regency Waikiki; $30, $75 VIP, $20, $50 pre-sale, 429-0715 or 256-7721.
“Pro Ballerz 2014,” hosted by LeSean McCoy, running back, Philadelphia Eagles, 9 p.m. Jan. 26, The Crown Bar and Night Club; $30, $75 VIP, $20, $50 pre-sale, 429-0715 or 256-7721.
2 Chainz, hip-hop artist whose third album, “B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time,” made several “best albums” lists for 2013, makes a Pro Bowl weekend stop, 11 p.m. Jan. 25, The Republik; $49, flavorus.com, 855-235-2867.