NFL preseason game is a boost to local economy

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Nearly 50,000 people are expected to pack Aloha Stadium on Saturday for the NFL preseason game. The Los Angeles Rams play the Dallas Cowboys.

It’s the first NFL game in Hawaii in decades.

While the Cowboys are known as America’s team, this weekend the Rams are considered the home team.

Brandon Chong is from Oahu and is a die hard Rams fan. Chong said he’s rooted for the Rams since he was little. “My father was a Rams fan, so we grew up watching Rams games. We just kind of inherited it,” he said.

However, it’s not just Hawaii residents who are heading to the game. Both Cowboys and Rams fans from across the country are on the island to support their teams.

Trudy De Fino and her husband flew in from Southern California to support the Rams. “I just want to seem them play. I want to beat the Dallas Cowboys,” she exclaimed.

More football fans on the island means more money for the state.

Mufi Hannemann, President of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, said the preseason game is a boost to the local economy.

“When someone comes here, obviously you stay at a hotel, and then they also circulate the dollars around the in the economy,” Hannemann said. “There’s restaurants to go to. There’s attractions to take in. The more people they bring, the better,” he added.

Ron Jackson, the owner of Island Sportswear, said he’s seen fans from all over the country come to his pop-up Los Angeles Rams fan store.

“Los Angeles, a couple from Alaska, even Cowboy fans from Texas, so we’re getting an entire mix of customers from everywhere, which is great,” Jackson said.

This Saturday, it’s not just the players in the spotlight, Hawaii is too.

“Because it’s all over the sporting channels, the networks, people are saying, ‘Wow, maybe I’d like to check out Hawaii, maybe I’d like to go there,'” Hannemann said.

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