Aloha Stadium

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Aloha Stadium
Alohastadium.jpg
Location 99-500 Salt Lake Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818
Coordinates 21°22′22″N 157°55′48″W / 21.37278°N 157.93000°W / 21.37278; -157.93000Coordinates: 21°22′22″N 157°55′48″W / 21.37278°N 157.93000°W / 21.37278; -157.93000
Owner State of Hawaii
Operator Hawaii Stadium Authority
Capacity 50,000[1]
Field size Baseball
Left Field – 325ft
Center Field – 420ft
Right Field – 325ft
Surface Astroturf (1975–2002)
FieldTurf (2003–2011)[2]
UBU Sports Speed S5-M (2011–present)
Construction
Opened September 12, 1975[5]
Construction cost US$37 million[3]
Architect The Luckman Partnership, Inc.[4]
Tenants
Hawaii Warriors (NCAA) (1975–present)
The Hawaiians (WFL) (1975)
Hula Bowl (NCAA) (1975–1997, 2006–2008)
Hawaii Islanders (PCL) (1976–1987)
Team Hawaii (NASL) (1977)
Pro Bowl (NFL) (1980–2009, 2011-2014, 2016-)
Aloha Bowl (NCAA) (1982–2000)
Oahu Bowl (NCAA) (1998–2000)
HHSAA Division I & II State Championships (1999–present)
Hawaiʻi Bowl (NCAA) (2002–present)
Pan-Pacific Championship (2008–2009)
Hawaiian Islands Invitational (2012–present)
St. Louis Crusaders (ILH)
Pac-5 Wolf Pack (ILH)
OIA Division I & II Championships
San Diego Padres (1975-2001) (exhibition games and few regular season games)

Aloha Stadium is a stadium located in Halawa, Hawaii, a western suburb of Honolulu (though with a Honolulu address). Aloha Stadium is currently home to the University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warriors football team (Mountain West Conference, NCAA Division I FBS). It hosts the NCAA's Hawai'i Bowl, and has also been home to the National Football League's Pro Bowl since 1980 (except in 2010 and 2015) and the NCAA's Hula Bowl from 1975 to 1997 and again in 2006. It also hosts numerous high school football games during the season, and serves as a venue for large concerts and events. A swap meet in the stadium's parking lot every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday draws large crowds.[6] Aloha Stadium once served as home field for the AAA Hawaiʻi Islanders of the Pacific Coast League from 1975 to 1987 before the team moved to Colorado Springs.

History[edit]

Aerial view in baseball/soccer configuration

Before 1975, Honolulu's main outdoor stadium had been Honolulu Stadium, a wooden stadium on King Street. However, it was well below the standards for both Triple-A baseball and NCAA Division I football, and had reached the end of its useful life by the 1960s. Located west of downtown Honolulu and two miles north of Honolulu International Airport, Aloha Stadium was constructed in 1975 at a cost of $37 million.

The first sporting event ever held at Aloha Stadium was a football game played between the University of Hawaii and Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) on September 13, 1975. The crowd was 32,247.[7]

The stadium was somewhat problematic for its initial primary tenant, the Islanders. It was far from the team's main fan base, and fans were unwilling to make the drive to west-central Oahu. Additionally, while TheBus stopped right at the main gate of Honolulu Stadium, the Aloha Stadium stop was located some distance from the gate. As a result, attendance plummeted and never really recovered--a major factor in the franchise's ultimate move to the mainland.[8]

Additionally, stadium management initially refused to allow the use of metal spikes. When the Tacoma Twins complied with a parent-club directive to wear the spikes, stadium management turned off the center field lights. After 35 minutes, the umpires forfeited the game to the Twins. The Islanders protested, claiming they had no control the lights. However, the PCL sided with the Twins, citing a league rule that the home team is responsible for providing acceptable playing facilities.[8][9]

As originally built, Aloha Stadium could be reconfigured into various configurations for different sport venues and other purposes. Four movable 7,000-seat sections, each 3.5 million pounds[1] could move using air casters into a diamond configuration for baseball (also used for soccer), an oval for football, or a triangle for concerts. A 2005 study by Honolulu engineering firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. determined that the stadium required $99 million to be completely restored and an additional $115 million for ongoing maintenance and refurbishment over the next 20 years to extend its useful life.[10] In January 2007, the stadium was permanently locked into its football configuration due to cost and maintenance issues.[11] An engineer from Rolair Systems, the NASA spin-off company that engineered the system,[12] claims that the problem was caused by a concrete contractor that ignored specifications for the concrete pads under the stadium.[13]

There have been numerous discussions with Hawaii lawmakers who are concerned with the physical condition of the stadium. There are several issues regarding rusting of the facility, several hundred seats that need to be replaced, and restroom facilities that need to be expanded to accommodate more patrons.[3] Much of the rust is due to a design flaw in the weathering steel used to build the stadium. It was intended to create a protective patina that would eliminate the need for painting. However, in the ocean salt-laden air of Honolulu, it has never stopped rusting.

In early 2007, the state legislature proposed to spend $300 million to build a new facility as opposed to spending approximately $216 million to extend the life of Aloha Stadium for another 20–30 years. The new stadium may also be used to attempt to lure a Super Bowl to Hawaii in the future.[14]

One council member has said that if immediate repairs are not made within the next seven years, then the stadium will probably have to be demolished due to safety concerns. In May 2007, the state alloted $12.4 million to be used towards removing corrosion and rust from the structure.[15]

Expansion and improvements[edit]

In 2003, the stadium surface was changed from AstroTurf (which had been in place since the stadium opened) to FieldTurf.[2]

In July 2011 the field was upgraded to UBU Sports Speed S5-M synthetic turf system that features the exclusive Removable Active Panel system as part of the multimillion dollar renovation to Aloha Stadium. The synthetic turf system covers 110,000 sq ft and has 22 Removable Active Panels located in 7 locations. The RAP's have inlaid logos for the University of Hawaii and Aloha Bowl as well as blank panels to accommodate the NFL Pro Bowl and NCAA Bowl Games that will be custom painted for each event.

In 2008, the state of Hawaii approved the bill of $185 million to refurbish the aging Aloha Stadium.[16] In 2010, Aloha Stadium completely retrofitted its scoreboard and video screen to be more up to date with its high definition capability. The Aloha Stadium Authority plans to add more luxury suites, replacing all seats, rusting treatments, parking lots, more restrooms, pedestrian bridge supports, enclosed lounge, and more. There is also a proposal that would close the 4 opening corners of the stadium to add more seats.

In 2011, the playing field was refurbished in part due to a naming rights sponsorship from Hawaiian Airlines. As a result of the sponsorship deal, the field is now referred to as Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.[17]

Events[edit]

A joint service color guard parades the colors at mid-field during the 2007 Pro Bowl game

In 1997, a three-game regular season series between Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres was held at the stadium.[18] The series was played as a doubleheader on April 19 and a nationally broadcast (ESPN) game on April 20. In 1975, the Padres had played an exhibition series against the Seibu Lions of Japan's Pacific League.

Aloha Stadium hosted the inaugural Pan-Pacific Championship (February 20–23, 2008), a knockout soccer tournament, involving four teams from Japan's J-League, North America's Major League Soccer (MLS) and Australia/New Zealand's A-League.[19]

In 2013, the stadium played host to a rugby league test where the USA played Samoa.[20] Aloha Stadium is also the venue for five public high school graduation ceremonies. Radford High School, Mililani High School, Aiea High School, James Campbell High School, and Pearl City High School hold their graduation ceremony at the stadium in early June.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hawaii Athletics facility description page, uhathletics.hawaii.edu
  2. ^ a b Masuoka, Brandon (2003-04-29). "Aloha Stadium surface will be of NFL quality". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  3. ^ a b Gima, Craig (2006-01-27). "Stadium corrosion creates a $129M safety concern". The Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  4. ^ Muschamp, Herbert (1999-01-28). "Charles Luckman, Architect Who Designed Penn Station's Replacement, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  5. ^ Aloha Stadium facts, alohastadium.hawaii.gov/
  6. ^ "Hawaii's premier Aloha Stadium Swap Meet an Outdoor Market in Hawaii|Aloha Outdoor Market, Flea Markets and Swap meet for shopping in Honolulu". Alohastadiumswapmeet.net. 1975-09-12. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  7. ^ Aloha Stadium Swap Meet "About Us" page, alohastadiumswapmeet.net
  8. ^ a b Kaneshiro, Stacy. Islanders a fan hit during 27-year run. The Honolulu Advertiser, 2009-07-04.
  9. ^ Stewart, Chuck. Sport Stew. Spokane Daily Chronicle, 1976-09-01.
  10. ^ "Stadium rust to get $12.4M treatment". The Honolulu Advertiser. 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  11. ^ Masuoka, Brandon (2006-07-28). "Aloha Stadium losing baseball configuration". The Honolulu Advertiser. Archived from the original on 20 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  12. ^ "Convertible Stadium". NASA. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  13. ^ Kieding, Bob (2012). "Moving Seats". Popular Science (Wright's Media) (October): 8. 
  14. ^ Reardon, Dave (2006-04-03). "Super Dreams: Bringing the 50th Super Bowl to the 50th state would be costly". The Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  15. ^ Arakawa, Lynda (2007-05-11). "Stadium rust to get $12.4M treatment". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  16. ^ Masuoka, Brandon (2008-06-27). "Hawaii stadium to get $185M overhaul; UH expands pay-per-view package". Honolulu Advertiser (Honolulu, HI, USA: Black Press). ISSN 1072-7191. OCLC 8807414. Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2013-02-04. 
  17. ^ Hawaiian Airlines Grabs Naming Rights To Aloha Stadium Field; SponsorPitch; 08-04-2011
  18. ^ Arnett, Paul and Yuen, Mike (1997-02-25). "Padres, Cardinals to play in Hawaii". The Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  19. ^ Carlos Alvarez-Galloso, Roberto (2007-12-26). "2008 Pan-Pacific Championship: Make it more inclusive". MeriNews. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  20. ^ http://www.khon2.com/news/local-news/tomahawks-get-ready-for-match-up-with-na-toa-samoa-at-aloha-stadium

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
first stadium
Host of the
Hawaiʻi Bowl

2002–present
Incumbent
Preceded by

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Sun Life Stadium
Host of the
NFL Pro Bowl

1980 – 2009
2011 – 2014
Succeeded by

Sun Life Stadium
University of Phoenix Stadium
Preceded by
first stadium
Host of the
Pan-Pacific Championship

2008
Succeeded by
Home Depot Center