Hawaii homeless after Aloha Stadium shuts down new events
The Aloha Stadium Authority announced an indefinite shut down of new events, leaving Hawaii in need of a home for the 2021 football season.
The Authority termed the changes in Aloha Stadium usage as a “temporary moratorium on new events and reduction in operations.”
“It is with a heavy heart that we make this difficult decision,” said Ross Yamasaki, chair of the Stadium Authority. “Aloha Stadium has been expending its reserves to maintain operations since COVID-19 restrictions began.
“Unfortunately, we have reached a stage where we can no longer afford to continue these expenditures. It is our hope that we can find a long-term solution but for now must make these changes to reduce expenses and generate revenue through activities in the parking lot and events that have already been booked.”
With the stadium in Honolulu unavailable to them, the Rainbow Warriors are weighing their options.
“We are beyond disappointed of the news at today’s announcement from the Aloha Stadium Authority that there will be no further events in the current stadium with fans,” Hawaii athletic director David Matlin said in a statement. “Aloha Stadium has such a storied history and carries so many memories for our football program and generations of Hawaii families. We must now take responsibility ourselves to find a suitable venue for our Rainbow Warriors, Hawaii’s football team, to play in front of our loyal fans beginning in 2021.”
There is 23,000-seat War Memorial Stadium located on the island of Maui, but it isn’t immediately known if that site would be approved by the NCAA.
If there is not a suitable home in close proximity to Hawaii, one of the options would be playing all 2021 games on the road.
The Hula Bowl featuring college all-star players is slated to be held on Jan. 31. The 2020 Hawaii Bowl was canceled due to the pandemic.
Aloha Stadium was home to the NFL’s Pro Bowl on more than 30 occasions.
Plans also call for a facility to be built to replace Aloha Stadium. The current timeline is for it to open by the start of the 2023 season.
Hawaii (4-4) concludes its season against Houston in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 24.
–Field Level Media