July 2nd, 2014
By Dave Reardon
By Dave Reardon
Dave,Today's column on Aloha Stadium is especially interesting because it's a prominent facility, important to our State and all in our Honolulu community.I'd like to share some food for thought:1) Our current stadium is fine when it's full and embarrassing when it's not. I'd love to see UH football, Pro Bowl and other events at our stadium filling it to capacity.That said, that's seldom the case.Like many others, I experienced first hand the feeling of putting on an event at Aloha Stadium that falls short of great vision and intention.In 2005, we put a group together for our "Aloha Soccer Cup" with the Los Angeles Galaxy & DC United (Freddie Adu).We had great support organizing the event and selling tickets, as well as volunteers putting on the practice sessions we hosted for both teams.
Despite all of our support, our best efforts resulted in a approximately 15,000 people enjoying the event.Those that were there had a great time but our small team of organizers were left with an empty feeling because our results fell short of our expectations and our venue was too big.Waipio was not an option; our old Honolulu Stadium would have been perfect.2) The 30,000+ option being considered might be good but is its location ideal?Maybe, if the rail has a transit stop nearby.Since the rail isn't scheduled to reach UH-Manoa, how about a new stadium at UH-West Oahu?Regardless of size, the location might be good for those willing to use the rail and the site has loads of potential.3) Aloha Stadium is still a great site but may be best as an alternate use.Thanks & Aloha,Paul Shinkawa