Skip to Content

Aloha Stadium shuts down and suspends future events because of COVID-19

Click here for updates on this story

    HawaiI, USA (KITV) — Hawaii’s largest outdoor arena Aloha Stadium is shutting-down.

The Aloha Stadium Authority announced Thursday it will be closed temporarily, because of COVID-19 safety restrictions.

Ross Yamasaki, chairman of the Stadium Authority, called today’s decision difficult. The shut-down means all future events such as graduations and concerts will be suspended but existing events like the Swap Meet and the holiday light show will continue as scheduled.

One of the stadium’s biggest client is the University of Hawaii’s Rainbow Warriors Football team. Now they will need to find a new home.

University of Hawaii’s athletic director David Matlin wrote in a release he’s disappointed.

State Senator Glenn Wakai represents that area and is a UH Football fan, he says the Rainbow Warriors has no option but find some place else to play starting next season.

“You can’t exit this market for three years with no presence of UH Football. You have to have some local roots here. Ultimately in three years, where we have a new stadium, where’s the fan base going to be?” Wakai said.

Aloha Stadium is managed by the state. Last year, the legislature approved to allocate $350 million for a new stadium, Wakai says with today’s decision, there is now more pressure on lawmakers to work out a plan. No money will be released for the project until more details are in place.

“To make sure the stadium authority is in charge of the financial fund for the stadium, lease issues, should we have it for 65 years for a private sector developer to come back and utilize those land,” Wakai said. “It puts more pressure on us to it done faster than expected.”

The stadium was built in 1975 for roughly $37 million. A review done last year and estimated upkeep and repairs to the aging structure would cost the state $30 million. Wakai says that’s not a sustainable option.

“At a certain point, you don’t want to just continue to redo, redo a old jalopy. At some point, you gotta get rid of the jalopy and get a new car,” Wakai said.

In a written statement Yamasaki said: “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.”

Yamasaki adds that the stadium’s been spending its budget reserves to maintain operations since COVID-19 restrictions began.

Mayor Michael Victorino issued the following statement regarding possible use of War Memorial Stadium for UH football games or other events:

“I am open to entertaining the notion of War Memorial Stadium hosting UH football games. It would be a great opportunity for our local college football fans to cheer the Rainbow Warrior football team here at home on Maui. War Memorial hosted a UH football game in 2001 and Hula Bowl games from 1998 to 2005. So, we know games of this caliber have been played here – with national TV coverage. I am willing to expedite stadium improvements to accommodate better seating, lighting or expanded concession areas, in order to host UH games here.”

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: Regional News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content