HONOLULU, HAWAII – A cherished holiday island tradition is turning ten this year. The State Legislature will honor the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on its 10th anniversary game played in Hawaii on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 12 noon in the House Chamber.

Honorees include Clint Overby, ESPN Senior Director of Events; David Matlin, Executive Director of the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl; Hugh Yoshida, Chair of the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl; Keith Vieira, Senior Vice President of Operations for Starwood Hotels & resorts Hawaii and French Polynesia; and Ernest Nishizaki, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts.

“As we celebrate our tenth anniversary, the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl is truly humbled to be an active member of the community and by the State Legislature’s recognition of our contribution to Hawai’i,” says Matlin.

“In Hawaii’s efforts to promote tourism in the political, economic, and entertainment industries, sports tourism remains a popular attraction to fans around the world,” said Rep. K. Mark Takai (District 34 – Aiea, Pearl City).

In the 2010 matchup between the University of Hawaii and the University of Tulsa, it is estimated that over 19 million people either tuned in to watch the game or attended the game held at Aloha Stadium.

“The Bowl was created to give UH the opportunity to play as long as they are bowl eligible,” Matlin said.

“With the commitment of Starwood Hotels to another three years of sponsorship, we can really take the successes of the Hawaii Bowl to new levels,” Takai said.

Besides providing an opportunity for our local athletes, the Hawaii Bowl gives back to local charities and non-profit organizations through the Hawaii Bowl Foundation.

Through the Foundation, over $420,000 in cash and over $1.5 million in tickets have been given to Hawaii-based charities and military personnel. Last year, $64,000 was donated to various non-profit agencies including Ahahui Koa Anuenue, Special Olympics Hawaii, the Hawaii High School Athletic Association, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu.

“For the past ten years we’ve averaged around 16 million viewers,” Matlin said.  “It helps that in the dead of winter, many ESPN viewers in over 150 countries tune in to see shots of our gorgeous island. They also get to see a great game.”

This year’s game will be played on Saturday, December 24, 2011.

“Ten years is a significant show of dedication that the Hawaii Bowl has to the Aloha State,” Takai said. “Imagine where our collegiate football program could be in another ten years.”

Submitted by the office of Rep. K. Mark Takai

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