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Aloha Stadium

Coordinates: 21°22′23″N 157°55′48″W / 21.373°N 157.93°W / 21.373; -157.93
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Aloha Stadium
The abandoned stadium in 2024
Aloha Stadium is located in Oahu
Aloha Stadium
Aloha Stadium
Location on the island of Oahu
Aloha Stadium is located in Hawaii
Aloha Stadium
Aloha Stadium
Location in Hawaii
Address99–500 Salt Lake Boulevard
Aiea, HI 96701
LocationAiea, HI, U.S.
Coordinates21°22′23″N 157°55′48″W / 21.373°N 157.93°W / 21.373; -157.93
Public transitMainline rail interchange HART
at Hālawa/Aloha Stadium
OwnerState of Hawaii
OperatorHawaii Stadium Authority
Field sizeBaseball
Left Field: 325 ft (99 m)
Center Field: 420 ft (128 m)
Right Field: 325 ft (99 m)
SurfaceS5 (2011–2020)
FieldTurf (2003–2011)[2]
AstroTurf (1975–2002)
OpenedSeptember 12, 1975[6][7]
ClosedDecember 17, 2020[8]
Construction cost$37 million[3]
($210 million in 2023[4])
ArchitectLuckman Partnership, Inc.[5]

Aloha Stadium is a closed multi-purpose stadium located in Halawa, Hawaii, a census-designated place that is a western suburb of Honolulu.[9] It is the largest stadium in the state of Hawaii. As of December 2020, the stadium ceased fan-attended operations indefinitely, and placed a moratorium on the scheduling of new events.[10] It is located next to the Hālawa station of the Skyline rail system.

Aloha Stadium served as home to the University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warriors football team (Mountain West Conference, NCAA Division I FBS) for the 1975 through 2020 seasons. It also hosted college football's Hawaiʻi Bowl (2002–2019) and Hula Bowl (1976–1997, 2006–2008, 2020–2021), and formerly was home to the National Football League's Pro Bowl from 1980 through 2016 (except in 2010 and 2015). It also hosted numerous high school football games, and served as a venue for large concerts and events, including high school graduation ceremonies. The stadium was home field for the AAA Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) from 1975 to 1987, before the team moved to Colorado Springs. Frequent swap meets in the stadium's parking lot often draw large crowds.[11]


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 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 move of the Hawaii Rainbows football program to NCAA Division I. Located west of downtown Honolulu and 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Honolulu International Airport, Aloha Stadium was constructed in 1975 at a cost of $37 million. Constructed of steel, the stadium was nicknamed the "Metal Mecca".[12] The baseball field was aligned north-northwest (home plate to centerfield), as was the football field.

The first sporting event at Aloha Stadium was a college football game between Hawaii and Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) on September 13, 1975.[6] Played on Saturday night, the crowd was 32,247,[13] and the visitors prevailed,43–9.[6]

The final sporting event held in Aloha Stadium was the 2021 Hula Bowl. The last points scored at Aloha Stadium were a “pick 6” touchdown scored by Carlo Kemp of the University of Michigan.[14]

The stadium was somewhat problematic for its initial primary tenant, the minor league baseball Hawaii Islanders. Located in south-central Oahu, it was far from the team's fan base in Mōʻiliʻili, and many were unwilling to make the drive. Additionally, while local public transportation (TheBus) stopped at the main gate of Honolulu Stadium, the stop for Aloha Stadium 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.[15]

Additionally, stadium management initially refused to allow the use of metal spikes on the AstroTurf. During a game in early May 1976, the starting pitcher for the Tacoma Twins, Bill Butler, wore metal spikes to comply with a directive from Tacoma's parent club.[16] In response, stadium management turned off the center field lights, and after 35 minutes, umpires forfeited the game to the Twins.[16] The Islanders protested, claiming they had no control over the lights.[16] However, the Pacific Coast League (PCL) sided with the Twins, citing a league rule that the home team is responsible for providing acceptable playing facilities.[15][17] After the teams ended the season in a tie for first in the PCL's Western Division, Hawaii won a one-game playoff in Tacoma.[18] As originally built, Aloha Stadium had various configurations for different sport venues and other purposes. Four movable 7,000-seat sections, each 3.5 million pounds (1,600,000 kg)[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. In January 2007, the stadium was permanently locked into its football configuration due to cost and maintenance issues.[19] An engineer from Rolair Systems, the NASA spin-off company that engineered the system,[20] claims that the problem was caused by a concrete contractor that ignored specifications for the concrete pads under the stadium.[21]


There were numerous discussions with Hawaii lawmakers who were concerned with the physical condition of the stadium. There were also 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 was due to building the stadium with weathering steel. U.S. Steel Corporation suggested the steel would develop a protective patina that would eliminate the need for painting.[22] However, given Honolulu's ocean-salt laden climate, the steel never stopped rusting.[23][24]

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.[25] 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.

One council member said that if immediate repairs were not made within the next seven years, then the stadium would 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.[26]

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 replaced with an Act Global 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.[27] 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 planned to add more luxury suites, replacing all seats, rusting treatments, parking lots, more restrooms, pedestrian bridge supports, an enclosed lounge, and more. There was also a proposal that would have enclosed the four openings in the 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 was referred to as Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.[28] The airline did not renew sponsorship after the deal expired in 2016. As a result, the field went unnamed until late August, when Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union signed a three-year $275,000 agreement. As of 2016, the field was known as Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union Field at Aloha Stadium.[29]

In early 2017, there was a study in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser about replacing Aloha Stadium due to safety concerns and a liability risk. The plan was then to build a smaller 30,000 seat stadium on the existing property and also build commercial development around the stadium. In theory, this would save the state millions of dollars instead of renovating and keep the existing stadium as it was.[30][31]

In July 2019, Governor of Hawaii David Ige signed Act 268 into law, appropriating $350 million for an Aloha Stadium redevelopment project. The funds were to go toward the construction of a new stadium and land development, including a mixed-use sports and entertainment complex.[32]

Closure to new events[edit]

A December 17, 2020, announcement by the Aloha Stadium Authority stated that the stadium would be ceasing fan-attended operations indefinitely. The closure was related to financial issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The stadium, built in 1975, was also plagued by maintenance issues in recent years. A 2019 story from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser noted that the stadium needed $30 million in repairs. KHON-TV reported that the stadium would be condemned and was deemed unsafe to hold any crowds at all.[8][33] The scheduling of new events was also halted.[34] In January 2021, the University of Hawaii announced that the Rainbow Warriors football team would play their home games on campus "for at least the next three years".[35]

New stadium[edit]

The New Aloha Stadium is a proposed 35,000-seat multi-purpose stadium to be built in Halawa, Hawaii, for the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football program, with demolition of the old stadium to begin in 2025.[36] The area around the stadium will also include entertainment venues, retail stores, restaurants, housing, hotels, recreational sites, cultural amenities, and green space. It will replace, and be constructed on the site of, the current Aloha Stadium.[37][38][39]


American football[edit]

The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors playing at the stadium
A joint service color guard parades the colors at mid-field during the 2007 Pro Bowl game

College football[edit]

Aloha Stadium served as the home field of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors college football program, representing the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, from 1975 through 2020.

The Hula Bowl, a college football all-star game, was first played at the stadium in January 1976 and returned to the stadium annually through 1997. It was again held at Aloha Stadium in 2006–2008 and 2020–2021. The 2021 Hula Bowl was the last football game held at the facility before the halting of new events.[40]

Three team-competitive college football bowl games were held annually at the stadium: the Aloha Bowl (1982–2000), Oahu Bowl (1998–2000), and Hawaii Bowl (2002–2019). The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors appeared in the Hawaii Bowl nine times and the other two bowl games once each.

Professional football[edit]

Starting in September 1975, the stadium was home to the World Football League's Hawaiians[41][42] who played their last four home games there.[43] The San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers played an NFL preseason game at Aloha Stadium on August 21, 1976. In August 2019, the NFL returned to the stadium with a preseason game between the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys.[44]

The National Football League's all-star game, the Pro Bowl, was held annually at the stadium from 1980 through 2016, except in 2010 and 2015.


The stadium served as the home field for the Hawaii Islanders, a Triple-A team competing in the Pacific Coast League, from 1976 to 1987.

In 1997, a three-game regular season series between St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB) was held at the stadium.[45] Called the Padres Paradise Series, the series was played as a doubleheader on April 19 and a nationally broadcast (ESPN) game on April 20.[46] In 1979, the Padres had played a three-game preseason series against the Seibu Lions of Japan's Pacific League at the stadium.[47]


On April 7, 1976, the Aloha Soccer Festival triple-header was held at the stadium. In the feature match, Pelé scored four goals as his New York Cosmos defeated Japan, 5-0, in front of a crowd of 21,705. (In the other matches, the NASL's San Diego Jaws routed the Hawaii All-Stars, 6-0, while the Philippines edged Taiwan, 1-0.)[48]

Encouraged by the tournament's success, the San Antonio Thunder became Team Hawaii in 1977, bringing the NASL to the Aloha State. Pelé and the Cosmos returned on April 13, 1977, as 12,877 watched New York defeat Hawaii, 2-1. (None of Team Hawaii's other twelve home games drew even half of that; they managed only 4,543 per game for the season, and moved to Tulsa in 1978.)

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.[49] The 2012 Hawaiian Islands Invitational was also held at the venue.

The United States women's national soccer team was scheduled to 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.[50]

Date Score Competition Attendance
February 20, 2008 Gamba Osaka Japan 1-0 United States Los Angeles Galaxy 2008 Pan-Pacific Championship 15,128
Sydney FC Australia 0-3 United States Houston Dynamo
February 23, 2008 Sydney FC Australia 1-2 United States Los Angeles Galaxy 2008 Pan-Pacific Championship
Third-place Match
Gamba Osaka Japan 6-1 United States Houston Dynamo 2008 Pan-Pacific Championship


On June 2, 2013, the stadium played host to a rugby league test match where Samoa defeated the USA 34–10.[51]

In June, the Brisbane Broncos from the Australasian-based National Rugby League (NRL) competition organized for a rugby league match to be played at Aloha Stadium against NRL rivals Penrith Panthers later in 2015.[52] However, in September the NRL blocked the idea and the game didn't go ahead.[53]

Date Visiting Score Home Competition Attendance
June 2, 2013  United States 10–34  Samoa International Friendly
July 19, 2014  United States 18–12  Samoa International Friendly

Aloha Stadium also hosted the Aloha World Sevens.[citation needed]

In 2020 it was proposed that Kanaloa Hawai’i, a proposed Major League Rugby (MLR) team, be based at Aloha Stadium after "a few years" in a smaller venue;[54][55] however, MLR and Kanaloa Hawai’i did not reach an agreement for the team to join the league.[56]

Graduation ceremonies[edit]

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.


Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
February 25, 1984 The Police Synchronicity Tour
November 6, 1995 Eagles Hell Freezes Over Tour
January 3, 1997 Michael Jackson HIStory World Tour 70,000 These were his only US shows that decade. Also, the first person to sell out the stadium.[57]
January 4, 1997
May 3, 1997 Gloria Estefan Evolution World Tour
May 29, 1997 Whitney Houston Bobby Brown Pacific Rim Tour 29,118 / 29,118 $1,634,370 Bobby Brown began the show singing his hit tunes. A disguised Whitney sang background vocals for Bobby. Audience members stated that "she came out and the crowd went wild. She sang very well even though she had a cold. She closed the show with 'Step By Step'."[58]
January 23, 1998 The Rolling Stones Jonny Lang Bridges To Babylon Tour 54,006 / 60,000 $3,317,190
January 24, 1998
February 21, 1998 Mariah Carey Butterfly World Tour 30,415 / 30,415 $1,744,210 [59]
January 30, 1999 Janet Jackson 98 Degrees The Velvet Rope Tour 38,224 / 38,224 $2,664,000 [60][61]
February 12, 1999 Celine Dion Let's Talk About Love World Tour 22,381 / 22,381 $1,326,805 [62]
June 1, 2000 Tube Tube Live Around Special June.1.2000 in Aloha Stadium The band marked their 15th anniversary with their first-ever US show - a day the state commemorated as "TUBE Day".
February 16, 2002 Janet Jackson Ginuwine All for You Tour 32,211 / 33,511 $1,472,935 This concert was aired on HBO the following night and later released on DVD and VHS as Janet: Live in Hawaii.[63][64] Missy Elliott also made a surprise appearance.
December 9, 2006 U2 Pearl Jam
Rocco and the Devils
Vertigo Tour 45,815 / 45,815 $4,486,532 The band's first concert in Hawaii since 1985. Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day was the special guest.[65]
November 8, 2018 Bruno Mars The Green
Common Kings
24K Magic World Tour 113,751 / 113,751 $12,394,580
November 10, 2018
November 11, 2018
December 7, 2018 The Eagles Jack Johnson All the Light Above it Too World Tour
December 8, 2018 Guns N' Roses Not in This Lifetime... Tour 22,485 / 23,000
February 15, 2019 Eminem 31,621 / 31,621 $3,089,448

In popular culture[edit]

Aloha Stadium appeared in the climax of the 2006 animated television film Leroy & Stitch, the finale film to Lilo & Stitch: The Series and the main continuity of the Lilo & Stitch franchise. In the film's final act, Dr. Hämsterviel and his Leroy army dump Jumba Jookiba's first 624 genetic experiments into the stadium to be destroyed, only for Lilo, Stitch, Jumba, Pleakley, Gantu, and Reuben to arrive and stop Hämsterviel. After a fight between the experiments and the Leroys, the main heroes throw an impromptu concert (initially set up for a fictional event called "Alohapalooza"), performing "Aloha ʻOe" to trigger a failsafe to shut down the Leroys. Although the stadium is not identified by name, it is confirmed to be Aloha Stadium through a special thanks credit in the film's closing credits.[66]

In season three, episode three of the CBS television series NCIS: Hawai'i (first aired February 26, 2024), titled "License to Thrill", Aloha Stadium was the setting for a fictional extreme motorsports exhibition, World of Hyperdrome.

See also[edit]


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  3. ^ a b Gima, Craig (January 27, 2006). "Stadium corrosion creates a $129M safety concern". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
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  66. ^ Craig, Tony; Gannaway, Bobs (directors) (June 23, 2006). Leroy & Stitch (Motion picture). United States: Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

External links[edit]

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

Preceded by Host of the NFL Pro Bowl
Succeeded by
Preceded by
first stadium
Host of the
Pan-Pacific Championship

Succeeded by