Crews got to work early Saturday morning in Waikiki for the Pro Bowl Block Party.
The event is hosted by the city, along with the NFL, and has shut down all traffic lanes along a stretch of Kalakaua Avenue.
Allyson and Eileen McGarvey are visiting from Long Island, New York and are excited for all the Pro Bowl festivities.
“We just came from the Pro Bowl training where they were practicing outside. It was great. Really interesting,” Eileen McGarvey said.
“We had Antonio Cromartie and I got to see him. I took a couple pictures of him. But I didn’t get an autograph. So hopefully tomorrow. We’ll see,” Allyson McGarvey said.
In 2010, the Pro Bowl moved from Hawaii to Miami, Florida. Businesses are glad that it’s back and hope it’s here to stay.
“It means economy. Lot of people come in. We get to meet a lot of people. They buy a lot things. And we just enjoy people coming in and out,” NFL Pro Bowl Vendor Gwenevere Reyes said.
Workers at the Coco Cove say the Pro Bowl helps with their sales, in what would normally be a slower time of year.
“Pro Bowl means a lot to us when it comes to economy wise because we need the traffic for us to have more business to come into our store,” Coco Cove Manager Maddie Galicinao said. “I hope it will help us boost our sales, Pro Bowl. And I believe it’s better for us if it’s every year.”
The game also keeps lighting and stage crews employed.
“It gives us more jobs ’cause usually this is an on-and-off job, so we get called here and there. But with the Pro Bowl, it’s been more consistent,” Pro Bowl Block Party worker Jarren Ulima said.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority says the Pro Bowl brings in at least $25 million into the local economy, which is good for us and good for fans.
“We’re glad that it’s here. You get to visit Hawaii like the players said. They get to have vacation here and you can see the Pro Bowl, too. Otherwise you go to a different state. Like who really wants to go to cold New York?” Eileen McGarvey said.