George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), issued the following statement about the importance to the Hawaiian Islands of ESPN’s support and telecasts of the Hawaii Bowl and Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, Dec. 22-25. “Sports fans nationally will be seeing a lot of Hawaii’s enticing warmth and spectacular natural beauty on ESPN over four straight days culminating on Christmas, with many undoubtedly envisioning how they can join us in the Islands to escape the freezing cold of winter.
“ESPN’s support of the Hawaii Bowl and Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic are what makes the quality of these holiday events so worthwhile to the college student-athletes, their families and fans. Many make their first trip to Hawaii because of this bowl game and basketball tournament.
“Mahalo to Pete Derzis and his team at ESPN for their belief in the merits of the Hawaii Bowl and Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. These sports events are a magnificent showcase of what makes the Hawaiian Islands such a memorable destination for travelers to experience: Our cultural diversity, hospitality, beautiful environment and aloha spirit. HTA is proud to join ESPN as a partner in sponsoring these events for all that they mean to the State of Hawaii and our residents.
“Our congratulations go to the University of Hawaii football team, Head Coach Nick Rolovich and Athletic Director David Matlin for playing in this year’s Hawaii Bowl. The whole state will be cheering on our beloved Rainbow Warriors as they cap off a successful comeback season. We will also be rooting hard for the UH basketball team and Head Coach Eran Ganot, as they face another tough field of teams competing in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. Happy holidays from Hawaii.”