MUSIC - Cheeseburger in paradise by Jimmy Buffett
Photographed in 2008 using digital.
Aloha Stadium - Opened in 1975 and still in use.
Location: Aloha Stadium - 99 Salt Lake Blvd. Aiea, Hawaii -- Bounded by H1, H201 and Kamehameha Hwy.
Just 2 miles north of Honolulu airport sits Aloha stadium, home to the University of Hawaii football. Built to replace the "termite palace" of old Honolulu stadium, the new facility was opened in 1975. It was an immediate improvement over the old ballpark. Modern and clean, it brought Honolulu a new showplace for sporting events and concerts. It is easily accessible from downtown Honolulu. While the old Honolulu stadium was in a residential neighborhood, Aloha was built by the H1 and H201 freeways. Aloha stadium is just a stones throw north from Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona memorial. Aloha stadium could be reconfigured into various configurations for different sporting events as well as other functions. Four movable sections could move using air cushions into a diamond configuration for baseball, an oval for football, or a triangle for concerts. In January of 2007 the stadium was locked in a permanent football shape. This was due to huge maintenance costs and issues. There are many problems with Aloha stadium, most notably is the rust. Talks were ongoing with the state of Hawaii on building a new stadium, or refurbishing Aloha. One legislator said that if repairs are not made, Aloha will have to be demolished within 7 years due to safety concerns. It is thought that if a new stadium is built, this would lure a Super Bowl to Hawaii. In 2008, the state of Hawaii approved a bill of 185 million dollars to upgrade the aging facility. 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.
Aloha stadium held it's first sporting event on September 13, 1975, as the University of Hawaii played host to Texas A&M. The results were not good for Hawaii, as the Aggies won 43-9. BUT, the school had a brand new facility to call home. They have played here ever since. Football was not the only sport played here. From the opening of the facility thru 1987, the PCL Hawaii Islanders played baseball here. The Islanders were the triple A team for the San Diego Padres. The team left for Colorado Springs after the 1987 season. Travel costs were to blame. In 1997, a three-game regular season series between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres was held at the stadium. The third game was televised nationally by ESPN. Aloha stadium has hosted it's share of sporting events. It has been the home field for the NFL's Pro Bowl since 1980. It has also hosted the NCAA Hula Bowl, the Aloha bowl, the Oahu bowl and the Hawaii bowl.
Music has played a huge part in the life of Aloha stadium. Just about every major concert has been held here. The Police played their final concert here on the Synchronicity tour. (NO they didn't kill each other!). The Rolling Stones played here on their bridges to Babylon tour, and U2 played their last show on the Vertigo tour at Aloha in 2006.
With the funds in place, and the improvements that are going to be made, Aloha stadium will continue to host sporting events and concerts well into the 21st century.
The old baseball dugouts at Aloha Stadium.
Another dugout complete with helmet rack.
A view of the Missouri and the USS Arizona memorial from Aloha Stadium. 6/08