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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


DATELINE: March 1, 2016, Honolulu, Hawai`i
CONTACT: Kelsey Meehan, (808) 591-9193, kmeehan@grassrootinstitute.org

Grassroot Institute Questions Whether Pro Bowl Is Good for Hawaii

Watchdog group urges Legislature to take a closer look at the numbers 

HONOLULU, HAWAII–March 1, 2016–Today, the Grassroot Institute urged the Hawaii State Legislature to take a closer look at the numbers behind the Pro Bowl, questioning whether the event is as beneficial to state tourism as some have claimed. In comments on HB 2229, a bill to establish a task force to keep the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, the watchdog group offered evidence that the millions in state subsidies to the NFL may not be the best use of taxpayer funds.

“The state spends approximately $5 million to bring the Pro Bowl here–a number that will continue to rise and doesn’t take into account the cost of stadium improvements–yet the math on how much revenue this generates is extremely fuzzy,” stated Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute. “Though the HTA claims that the Pro Bowl brings more than 47,000 visitors to the state, independent economists studied the data and place that number closer to 6700.”

Dr. Akina continued: “While we understand how much the people of Hawaii love the Pro Bowl, it is time to question whether it is really good for our state. The NFL is a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Why should the taxpayers of Hawaii be footing the bill for their events?”

Grassroot Institute’s testimony can be viewed at: http://new.grassrootinstitute.org/2016/03/grassroot-testimony-hb-2229-relating-to-sports/
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Kelsey Meehan at (808) 591-9193 or email kmeehan@grassrootinstitute.org.

About the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii:
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market, and limited, accountable government throughout Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region.  Read more about us athttp://www.grassrootinstitute.org/
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About Grassroot President:
Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.,  is a recognized scholar, educator, public policy spokesperson, and community leader in Hawaii.  Currently, he is President/CEO of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a public policy think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, free markets and limited, accountable government.  An expert in East-West Philosophy and ethics, Dr. Akina has taught at universities in China and the United States and continues as an adjunct instructor at Hawaii Pacific University.  Dr. Akina was a candidate for Trustee at Large of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the 2014 General Election run-off.