Aiona proposes sports commission to bring more events to Islands
Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona proposed Wednesday a volunteer Hawaii sports commission that would be responsible for attracting more sporting events to the Islands.
These would range from youth soccer to golf to mixed martial arts, Aiona said..
Aiona is asking the Legislature to authorize creation of the commission. He said he hopes to have an executive director hired and the commission up and running by July.
Aiona hopes the bulk of the money for the commission will come from private donations following the model of the successful Save Our Sports fund-raising effort that followed budget cuts in Hawaii high school sports.
“This measure will allow our state to proactively secure both large and small sporting events throughout Hawaii that will help to strengthen our economy and make Hawaii a leader among the world’s sports destinations,” Aiona said.
“Hawaii is is the home of the Pro Bowl. Over time the game has become a tradition and our residents should not grow accustomed to seeing it played away from Aloha Stadium.”
Aiona said he timed his announcement to coincide with Pro Bowl week, with the game being played Sunday in Miami. It is the first time the game will be played outside Hawaii since 1980.
Aiona says his effort is being supported by people such as University of Hawaii volleyball coach Dave Shoji, mixed martial arts fighter BJ Penn and golf commentator Mark Rolfing.