|Location||99-500 Salt Lake Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818
|Owner||State of Hawaii|
|Operator||Hawaii Stadium Authority|
Left Field – 325ft
Center Field – 420ft
Right Field – 325ft
UBU Sports Speed S5-M (2011–present)
|Opened||September 12, 1975|
|Construction cost||US$37 million|
|Architect||The Luckman Partnership, Inc.|
|Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football (NCAA) (1975–present)
The Hawaiians (WFL) (1975)
Hula Bowl (NCAA) (1975–1997, 2006–2008)
Hawaii Islanders (PCL) (1976–1987)
Team Hawaii (NASL) (1977)
Aloha Bowl (NCAA) (1982–2000)
Oahu Bowl (NCAA) (1998–2000)
Hawaiʻi Bowl (NCAA) (2002–present)
St. Louis Crusaders (ILH)
Pro Bowl (NFL) (1980-2014, 2016)
Aloha Stadium is a stadium located in Halawa, Hawaii, a western suburb of Honolulu (though with a Honolulu address). Aloha Stadium is 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, 2015 and 2017-2019) 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. Aloha Stadium once served as home field for the AAA Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League from 1975 to 1987 before the team moved to Colorado Springs.
Before 1975, Honolulu's main outdoor stadium had been Honolulu Stadium, a wooden stadium on King Street. However, it had reached the end of its useful life by the 1960s, and was well below the standards for Triple-A baseball. The need for a new stadium was hastened by the Rainbows' move to NCAA Division I. 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.
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.
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 over the lights. However, the PCL sided with the Twins, citing a league rule that the home team is responsible for providing acceptable playing facilities.
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 could move using air casters into a diamond configuration for baseball (also used for soccer), an oval for football, or a triangle for concerts. In January 2007, the stadium was permanently locked into its football configuration due to cost and maintenance issues. An engineer from Rolair Systems, the NASA spin-off company that engineered the system, claims that the problem was caused by a concrete contractor that ignored specifications for the concrete pads under the stadium.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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 allotted $12.4 million to be used towards removing corrosion and rust from the structure.
Expansion and improvements
In 2003, the stadium surface was changed from AstroTurf (which had been in place since the stadium opened) to FieldTurf. In July 2011 the field was replaced by a UBU Sports Speed S5-M synthetic turf system.
In 2008, the state of Hawaii approved the bill of $185 million to refurbish the aging Aloha Stadium. 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.
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. 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.
In June, the Brisbane Broncos from the NRL organized for a rugby league match to be played at Aloha Stadium against NRL rivals Penrith Panthers later in 2015. However, in September the NRL blocked the idea and the game didn't go ahead.
The United States women's national soccer team was scheduled play a game against Trinidad and Tobago as part of their World Cup Winning Victory Tour at the stadium on December 6, 2015; however, the game was canceled the day before gameday due to concerns over the turf being unsafe to play on.
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 will hold their 2016 graduation ceremonies at the stadium in early June.
UFC President Dana White has announced that he will be holding an event there for the first time in Hawaii sometime in mid-2016.
- The Police in their final US concert on their Synchronicity Tour on February 25, 1984
- The Eagles on their Hell Freezes Over Tour on November 6, 1995
- Michael Jackson's HIStory World Tour on January 3–4, 1997 70.000 people – his only US shows that decade. He was the first person to sell out Aloha Stadium.
- Gloria Estefan during her Evolution World Tour with a sold-out concert on May 3, 1997.
- Whitney Houston ended her Pacific Rim Tour with a sold-out concert on May 28, 1997.
- The Rolling Stones during their Bridges To Babylon Tour on January 23–24, 1998
- Mariah Carey ended her Butterfly World Tour with a sold-out concert on February 21, 1998.
- Celine Dion on her Let's Talk About Love Tour on February 12, 1999.
- Janet Jackson's All for You Tour in 2002, which was broadcast on HBO as well as her 1999 Velvet Rope World Tour which broke stadium attendance records. The capacity for her 1999 show was expanded from the original capacity of 35,000 to 38,000 to meet the high ticket demand.
- U2's final stop on their Vertigo Tour on December 9, 2006
- Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw on their Brothers of the Sun Tour in 2011
- "Aloha Stadium". Retrieved 11 July 2016.
- "Hawaii Athletics - Aloha Stadium". Retrieved 11 July 2016.
- Masuoka, Brandon (2003-04-29). "Aloha Stadium surface will be of NFL quality". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- Gima, Craig (2006-01-27). "Stadium corrosion creates a $129M safety concern". The Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- 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.
- "Aloha Stadium - Trivia". Retrieved 11 July 2016.
- "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.
- Aloha Stadium Swap Meet "About Us" page, alohastadiumswapmeet.net
- Kaneshiro, Stacy. "Islanders a fan hit during 27-year run". The Honolulu Advertiser, 2009-07-04.
- Stewart, Chuck. Sport Stew. Spokane Daily Chronicle, 1976-09-01.
- 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.
- "Convertible Stadium". NASA. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
- Kieding, Bob (2012). "Moving Seats". Popular Science (Wright's Media) (October): 8.
- "Stadium rust to get $12.4M treatment". The Honolulu Advertiser. 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- 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.
- Arakawa, Lynda (2007-05-11). "Stadium rust to get $12.4M treatment". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- Masuoka, Brandon (2008-06-27). "Hawaii stadium to get $185M overhaul; UH expands pay-per-view package". Honolulu Advertiser. ISSN 1072-7191. OCLC 8807414. Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2013-02-04.
- Hawaiian Airlines Grabs Naming Rights To Aloha Stadium Field; SponsorPitch; 08-04-2011
- Arnett, Paul; Yuen, Mike (1997-02-25). "Padres, Cardinals to play in Hawaii". The Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- Carlos Alvarez-Galloso, Roberto (2007-12-26). "2008 Pan-Pacific Championship: Make it more inclusive". MeriNews. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- "Tomahawks get ready for match-up with Na Toa Samoa at Aloha Stadium". KHON2. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
- "Broncos Panthers To Play Match In Hawaii". triplem.com.au. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
- "Exhibition matches are a bad idea in the USA – just look at the Wallabies!". theroar.com.au. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
- "U.S. Soccer Cancels Dec. 6 Match against T&T in Hawaii Due to Field Conditions". US Soccer. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
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