Aloha Stadium
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Aloha Stadium

Aloha Stadium
Aloha Stadium logo.svg
Looking south in September 2005
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
LocationHalawa, Hawaii, U.S.
Coordinates21°22?23?N 157°55?48?W / 21.373°N 157.93°W / 21.373; -157.93Coordinates: 21°22?23?N 157°55?48?W / 21.373°N 157.93°W / 21.373; -157.93
Public transitMainline rail interchange HART
at Aloha Stadium (planned 2020)
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-present)
FieldTurf (2003-2011)[2]
AstroTurf (1975-2002)
OpenedSeptember 12, 1975[6][7]
ClosedDecember 17, 2020[8]
Construction cost$37 million[3]
($178 million in 2020[4])
ArchitectLuckman Partnership, Inc.[5]

Aloha Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in Halawa, Hawaii,[9] a western suburb of Honolulu (though with a Honolulu address). 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]

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 drew 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 is aligned north-northwest (home plate to centerfield), as is 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,

The stadium was somewhat problematic for its initial primary tenant, the minor league baseball Hawaii Islanders. Located in west-central Oahu, it was far from the team's fan base, 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.[14]

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.[15] In response, stadium management turned off the center field lights, and after 35 minutes, umpires forfeited the game to the Twins.[15] The Islanders protested, claiming they had no control over the lights.[15] 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.[14][16] 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.[17]

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.[18] An engineer from Rolair Systems, the NASA spin-off company that engineered the system,[19] claims that the problem was caused by a concrete contractor that ignored specifications for the concrete pads under the stadium.[20]


There have been numerous discussions with Hawaii lawmakers who are concerned with the physical condition of the stadium. There are 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 is due to building the stadium with weathering steel. It was intended to create a protective patina that would eliminate the need for painting. However, the designers reckoned without Honolulu's ocean-salt laden climate. As a result, the steel has never stopped rusting.[21][22]

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.[23] 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 years. The new stadium may also be used to attempt to lure a Super Bowl to Hawaii in the future.[24]

One council member has said that if immediate repairs are not made within the next seven years, then the stadium will 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.[25]

Expansion and improvements

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.[26] 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 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 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.[27] 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.[28]

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 is to build a smaller 30,000 seat stadium on the existing property and also build commercial development around the stadium. In theory, it would save the state millions of dollars instead of renovating and keep the existing stadium as it is.[29][30]

In July 2019, Governor of Hawaii David Ige signed Act 268 into law, appropriating $350 million for an Aloha Stadium redevelopment project. The funds will go toward the construction of a new stadium and land development, including a mixed-use sports and entertainment complex.[31]

Closure to new events

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][32] The scheduling of new events was also halted.[33] 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".[34]

New Aloha Stadium.jpg

New stadium

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, starting in Fall 2023. 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 stadium.[35][36][37]


American football

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

Aloha Stadium served as the home field of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors college football program, representing the University of Hawai?i at M?noa, 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.[38]

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

In 1975, the stadium was home to the World Football League's Hawaiians. 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.[39]

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.[40] The series was played as a doubleheader on April 19 and a nationally broadcast (ESPN) game on April 20.[41] In 1979, the Padres had played a three-game preseason series against the Seibu Lions of Japan's Pacific League at the stadium.[42]


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

The United States women's national soccer team was scheduled 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.[44]

Rugby league

On June 2, 2013, the stadium played host to a rugby league test match where Samoa defeated the USA 34-10.[45]

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.[46] However, in September the NRL blocked the idea and the game didn't go ahead.[47]

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 --

Major League Rugby

As of mid-2020, Kanaloa Hawai'i, a proposed Major League Rugby team, was planned to be based at Aloha Stadium.[48][49]

Graduation ceremonies

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 The 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.[50]
January 4, 1997 70,000
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 opened up the show singing his hit tunes. Whitney was in disguise singing background vocals for Bobby. According to audience members, "Then 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'."[51]
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 [52]
January 30, 1999 Janet Jackson 98 Degrees The Velvet Rope Tour 38,224 / 38,224 $2,664,000 The capacity for this show was expanded from the original capacity of 35,000 to 38,000 to meet the high ticket demand.[53][54]
February 12, 1999 Celine Dion -- Let's Talk About Love World Tour 22,381 / 22,381 $1,326,805 [55]
December 31, 1999 Michael Jackson -- Millennium Concert Cancelled
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 was later released on DVD and VHS, titled Janet: Live in Hawaii.[56][57] 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.[58]
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

See also


  1. ^ a b "Hawaii Athletics - Aloha Stadium". Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ a b Masuoka, Brandon (April 29, 2003). "Aloha Stadium surface will be of NFL quality". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2008.
  3. ^ a b Gima, Craig (January 27, 2006). "Stadium corrosion creates a $129M safety concern". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008.
  4. ^ 1634 to 1699: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy ofthe United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700-1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How much is that in real money?: a historical price index for use as a deflator of money values in the economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800-present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800-". Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ Muschamp, Herbert (January 28, 1999). "Charles Luckman, Architect Who Designed Penn Station's Replacement, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008.
  6. ^ a b c "Texas A and I crushes Hawaii". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. September 15, 1975. p. 15.
  7. ^ "Aloha Stadium - Trivia". Archived from the original on August 5, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Aloha Stadium to shut down operations indefinitely". KHON2. December 17, 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  9. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Halawa CDP, HI" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ Kaneshiro, Jason; Wu, Nina (December 17, 2020). "Aloha Stadium says goodbye to UH". Tribune News Service. Retrieved 2021.
  11. ^ "Hawaii's premier Aloha Stadium Swap Meet an Outdoor Market in Hawaii|Aloha Outdoor Market, Flea Markets and Swap meet for shopping in Honolulu". September 12, 1975. Archived from the original on May 31, 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  12. ^ Crowley, Kurt (December 20, 2020). "'Metal Mecca' Aloha Stadium Closed Indefinitely". Retrieved 2021.
  13. ^ "Aloha Stadium Swap Meet "About Us" page". Archived from the original on May 31, 2009.
  14. ^ a b Kaneshiro, Stacy (July 4, 2009). "Islanders a fan hit during 27-year run". The Honolulu Advertiser.
  15. ^ a b c Borsch, Ferd (May 8, 1976). "Islanders forfeit by 2 feet". The Honolulu Advertiser. p. 1. Retrieved 2021 – via
  16. ^ Stewart, Chuck (September 1, 1976). "Sport Stew". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Spokane, Washington. p. 35 – via Google News.
  17. ^ "Salt Lake and Hawaii open PCL title go". Peninsula Daily News. Port Angeles, Washington. AP. September 8, 1976. p. 10. Retrieved 2021 – via
  18. ^ Masuoka, Brandon (July 28, 2006). "Aloha Stadium losing baseball configuration". The Honolulu Advertiser. Archived from the original on January 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  19. ^ "Convertible Stadium". NASA. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved 2012.
  20. ^ Kieding, Bob (2012). "Moving Seats". Popular Science. Wright's Media (October): 8.
  21. ^ Lewis, Ferd (February 4, 2020). "Aloha Stadium seeks $7.7M or it might have to close sections". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved 2021.
  22. ^ "Honolulu Star-Bulletin Breaking Stories". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. June 25, 1996. Retrieved 2021.
  23. ^ "Stadium rust to get $12.4M treatment". The Honolulu Advertiser. May 11, 2007. Retrieved 2009.
  24. ^ Reardon, Dave (April 3, 2006). "Super Dreams: Bringing the 50th Super Bowl to the 50th state would be costly". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008.
  25. ^ Arakawa, Lynda (May 11, 2007). "Stadium rust to get $12.4M treatment". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2008.
  26. ^ Masuoka, Brandon (June 27, 2008). "Hawaii stadium to get $185M overhaul; UH expands pay-per-view package". Honolulu Advertiser. ISSN 1072-7191. OCLC 8807414. Archived from the original on November 25, 2011. Retrieved 2013.
  27. ^ Hawaiian Airlines Grabs Naming Rights To Aloha Stadium Field; SponsorPitch; 08-04-2011 Archived 2011-11-17 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "Credit union buys naming rights for Aloha Stadium field". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. August 26, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  29. ^ "Study recommends smaller venue to replace Aloha Stadium". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved 2018.
  30. ^ "Report: Aloha Stadium now a 'liability,' cheaper to build new stadium". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved 2018.
  31. ^ Peterkin, Olivia (May 11, 2019). "Gov. Ige signs bill appropriating $350M to Aloha Stadium redevelopment project". Pacific Business News. Retrieved 2008.
  32. ^ Bromberg, Nick (December 17, 2020). "Hawaii without a home stadium after Aloha Stadium, a former Pro Bowl site, reportedly will be condemned". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 2020.
  33. ^ "New events halted at Aloha Stadium over virus, budget issues". The Washington Times. AP. December 18, 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  34. ^ Chinen, Kyle (January 11, 2021). "'Bows to play football home games on campus after Aloha Stadium fallout". Retrieved 2021.
  35. ^ "New Aloha Stadium".
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  37. ^ "Plans for new stadium taking shape". Retrieved 2019.
  38. ^ Tsai, Stephen (January 31, 2021). "Hula Bowl could be 'aloha' for stadium". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved 2021.
  39. ^ Klein, Gary (March 21, 2019). "Rams to play Cowboys in Hawaii in Aug. 17 preseason game". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019.
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  42. ^ "Sports today: Baseball". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. April 1, 1979. p. J-1. Retrieved 2021 – via
  43. ^ Carlos Alvarez-Galloso, Roberto (December 26, 2007). "2008 Pan-Pacific Championship: Make it more inclusive". MeriNews. Retrieved 2008.
  44. ^ "U.S. Soccer Cancels Dec. 6 Match against T&T in Hawaii Due to Field Conditions". US Soccer. Retrieved 2015.
  45. ^ "Tomahawks get ready for match-up with Na Toa Samoa at Aloha Stadium". KHON2. Retrieved 2015.
  46. ^ "Broncos Panthers To Play Match In Hawaii". Retrieved 2016.
  47. ^ "Exhibition matches are a bad idea in the USA - just look at the Wallabies!". Retrieved 2016.
  48. ^ "Professional rugby reaches Hawaii - Rugby World magazine". July 10, 2020.
  49. ^ "Pacific-owned Kanaloa Hawaii set to join Major League Rugby | RNZ News". July 14, 2020.
  50. ^ "King of Pop ends Hawaiian tour". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. (South Carolina). January 7, 1997. p. A2.
  51. ^ "The Pacific Rim Tour info". Retrieved 2009.
  52. ^ Events. Travel Hawaii for Smartphones and Mobile Devices - Illustrated Travel Guide. January 1, 2007. ISBN 978-1-60501-043-4. Retrieved 2011.
  53. ^ "Tickets still available for Janet concert". The Honolulu Advertiser. February 8, 2002. Retrieved 2014.
  54. ^ "Hawai'i-born dancer has Janet moving to his beat". Hawaii Advertiser. February 15, 2002. Retrieved 2014.
  55. ^ "VIDEO TIMELINE: See some of the biggest acts that have played Aloha Stadium". Hawaii News Now. Retrieved 2021.
  56. ^ "Janet Heads To Hawaii For HBO Live Special". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved 2017.
  57. ^ "Music DVD Review: Janet Jackson - Live in Hawaii (Re-Release)". Blog Critics. March 31, 2008. Retrieved 2014.
  58. ^ "U2 Honolulu, 2006-12-09, Aloha Stadium, Vertigo Tour - U2 on tour". Retrieved 2017.

External links

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