Fans flock to Pro Bowl despite rain, traffic

Rain, traffic, and new security measures hit Aloha Stadium on Sunday as tens of thousands of people headed to the Pro Bowl.

But they didn’t let it dampen their day.

Football fans say whatever they went through to get inside the stadium was well worth hit.

It was a sea of tarps and tents at the parking lot of Aloha Stadium. Football fans beaming with team pride everywhere you turned.

“Oakland Raiders baby. Black and silver until I die!” said Mark Failauga, football fan.

“Steelers!” yelled a group of fans.

“Bears baby, all day!” said one woman.

On Pro Bowl Sunday, it was smiles, cheers, and food — and lots of it. But it wasn’t exactly a picnic getting there. People sat in traffic trying to get to the stadium since some of the freeway off-ramps were closed.

“We came in gate No. 2 thinking we could get right to this lot, ended up circling this entire lot for 45 minutes and ended up right back in the same place that we came in,” said David Strode, football fan.

Mother Nature also remained busy.

“The rain is here. It sucks. But we’re making the best. Green Bay all day,” said a football fan.

Security has also changed here at the Pro Bowl. Large bags are no longer allowed, but plastic ones are.

People were reminded of the changes and received a bag if they needed one.

“Unless you come up with a bag, and you stuff your stuff in it, that’s the only way you’re going to get a bag,” an employee said.

“Yeah, we understand. Safety first,” said a football fan.

But football fans didn’t let anything get in the way of enjoying this day, finding different ways to pass the time with friends and family.

“Throw the bag in the hole. Three points for one in the hole. One point on the board.  First one to 21 wins,” Strode said.

For many, this is a big tradition. Earl Perkins has been here every year since the event arrived at Aloha Stadium in 1980.

“I just hope you guys keep the Pro Bowl for another 10 to 15 years because I love coming to Hawaii every year,” Perkins said.

He and many others hope they can enjoy this for many more years to come.

“This is great for Hawaii. This is great for everyone,” said Kelli Ching, football fan.

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