- Associated Press - Thursday, August 4, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii’s state tourism agency is hiring a New York firm to help it attract sporting events to the islands.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Thursday it’s awarding a one-year $200,000 contract to Ascendent Sports Group.

The agency says Ascendent will offer guidance on applying to host sporting events. It will help the state with contract negotiations.

The firm is one of 12 that submitted bids for the contract.

HTA marketing and product development Vice President Leslie Dance says the agency believes Ascendent will open a lot of doors for the agency and create new opportunities to showcase Hawaii to the world.

Hawaii’s sports tourism world has taken a hit this year, with the National Football League announcing in June it would move the Pro Bowl from Honolulu to Orlando, Florida.

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