In defense of Aloha
Hawaii is an easy target.
In part, it’s because the residents are generally nice people who let things slide. In part, when things go wrong, everybody knows. (Latest example: A zipper lane that didn’t zip.)
Aloha Stadium has been bashed since the first engineer said it would rust to a point, then stop. Lawmakers debate whether to keep paying for repairs, build a new one or sell it for scrap metal. Well, at least the rust-to-a-point pieces. According to a recent list circulating on social media, Aloha Stadium is the 20th-worst sporting venue. The article is accompanied by a picture with a port-a-potty in the foreground. Two things wrong: 1) It appears the Miami-based writer has never actually been to the stadium and, 2) the stadium has indoor plumbing. (For that matter, we don’t live in grass shacks nor dive for tourists’ quarters.)
Sure, Aloha Stadium is old and creaky — sort of like the blog host.
But every seat has a good view. It’s wheelchair accessible. The field is in great shape. The scoreboard is wonderful. The menu is one of the best in the nation for a college football game. Parking is inexpensive. There’s even some sort of Hall of Fame exhibit on the ground level.
I’ve seen some impressive things in the stadium: Ronnie Bond’s 217 rushing yards, Farrington sorta-sorta stopping Kaiser quarterback Scott Chan on the 1 four times, graduations, motocross races, monster trucks, Robbie Knievel knocked silly on a motorcycle jump and then sticking the jump the next night, a boxing match, and, even, a Stevie Wonder concert.
To be sure, the stadium has a lot of problems. Trough urinals? They should come with Sea Life Park-like splash-zone warnings. The walkway between the end zone and sideline sections needs to be less bumpy. (Several years ago, a coach had a panic attack walking the bouncing path for the first time.)
But I’ve been in the Cotton Bowl and the L.A. Coliseum when both were empty, and they’re not pretty sights. Aloha Stadium, at least, looks presentable without makeup.
Aloha Stadium is far from perfect. But it is functional. Think about that the next time you’re stuck on the H-1 for three hours.
GOOD MORNING, HAWAII!
I remember diving for tourist quarters off of Kona pier and going across the street for buy I e cream. Was fun
Ice cream lol
I’m impressed with your early business skills.
Three more days to spring practice.
“The menu is one of the best in the nation”
What does that even mean? Ask 10 people what denotes “one of the best”, and you’ll get 11 different ideas. Simply, the phrase “one of the best” is used poorly and has no meaning. Top 100? That means there could be 99 better places.
“There’s even some sort of Hall of Fame exhibit”
You only cheapen the meaning of words, when you stretch their definition so far.
“The scoreboard is wonderful”
What year is this blog posting in? Have you seen a real college football game recently?
Trigger warning: the article begins with the factual “In the world of college football, staying stagnant puts you behind”
But hey, at least we’re better than the Cotton Bowl. Just keep staying reactive, instead of proactive. Keep falling behind.
In addition to all the great attributes that ST makes about Aloha Stadium, I will add, two really important features:
One, its the only stadium that I know how to sneak in like 8 or 9 different ways (damn halawa kids??!);
Two, I have fond memories of the place, not because I played in it a bunch in HS and college–no–during a Friday triple header back in the day (late 1970s)–I made-out with this really cute girl from St. Francis—only one of my best HS memories ever!!!
Man eating apple:
Yep, better than the Cotton Bowl.
Then again, the Texas State Fair was in the area once. I had a turkey leg. I did not realize a turkey leg was that big.
Sneaking in might be easier that getting out.
There were many a time after writing a story on a high school football game, I had a hard time figuring out how to exit.
Guud Morning Tsaikos…bootiful day.
Mr. boola, does Mrs. bolla know this?….
Anyhoo, spring is here, football in the air, practice same day as Mini Manoa Makeover?
It is the same. Charlie Wade said he’s not quite certain about the starting time. But there’s a bye this weekend, so they’ll put in some significant cleanup time.
8..You can count me in as someone who has snuck into the old Honolulu Stadium. I remember jumping/climbing over a stone wall behind someone house to get in. Never tried to sneak into Aloha, maybe because I grew up.
Kimo Kai said 8:00 am start…might be able to catch some practice time too.
Good morning Tsaikos!
Da Volleyball Warriors is on a roll!
Come out to da SSC next week Fri (autograph session) and Sat (Sr Night) vs Stanford.
[Any thoughts on the over/under on how many times Stanford will call for the floor wipers?]
boola – my dad used to tell me about how he used to sneak into da Termite Palace when he was a kid back in da day.
Most impressive thing I saw at Aloha Stadium – the Rolling Stones concert back in 1998.
Warbow….reminds me of the old Peewees on McCully!!
Mrs. Boola has a very good idea who she married. After meeting my former roommates ( Kafenztis brothers and Vincent Sides) she knew I had a sordid past…lol
Didn’t do much research but from what little I did it appears on average modern stadiums last between 35 and 40 years. Regardless of the rust problems it appears talk about replacing Aloha Stadium is appropriate.
I had an auntie whose family owned a paint company that was located on Beretania. We’d park there, then walk a block or so to Honolulu Stadium. At the time, I never realized that was a rare convenience. A lot of the old sportswriters and sportscasters have fond memories of the Termite Palace. They also had access to the 12 or so parking stalls.
Honolulu Stadium, Termite Palace, fond memories…walk under the seats and get beer soda & peanut “rain”.
Aloha Stadium, used to enjoy pro baseball in baseball configuration. Used to wonder how the heck hey moved the sections. Used to wonder how the heck iron not going rust, especially with salt air. Used to wonder who the salesman who sold that design was. Wanted to hire him to sell some land for me. hehehe
Russell Yamanoha had a good point that the next time Hawaii builds a stadium, the highway exits should lead to the stadium.
He also had a good point when he wanted to bring a Sonic franchise to Hawaii.
Is Howard the peanut guy still alive?
do we have any god “peanut throwers” at Aloha?
hi ho hi ho a weed whacking aigoo
I will say that Aloha Stadium is a huge upgrade from Colorado’s stadium. Good lord those bathrooms are ugly and dirty. I almost debated to try and find an open bathroom somewhere else on campus. I swear the bathroom on the UH side looked like it’s out of the move SAW. Their food selection is far less impressive and I wasn’t too fond of the bleacher type seating. Not to mention you can only drink beer in certain areas that are not in view of the field. They do have great scenic views though and luxury box seating.
We need Aloha Stadium. Building a smaller stadium should not be an option. Aloha Stadium is the minimum size needed. What is needed is Parking. I think a hundred stalls would open if people were more considerate in how they park and tailgate.
Also we have a dedicated staff working there. As for the UH running the stadium? Look at their record on keeping up on repairs. Why would we give control to them?
Back to yesterday’s post, I can’t believe no one mentioned Blane Gaison switching from safety to QB at halftime.
Thanks for sharing that.
Back in the day, I went to a Rams v. Raiders game at the Coliseum. First, fist fights all over the place–funny thing, is that raiders fans were fighting other raiders fans.
Two–we actually found a switch blade under our seat.
Three, folks did not want to do the long walk to the bathroom, and were just p**ing in the tunnel turnstills…
Los Angeles is for real….
I thought it was interesting when it was suggested building a 35,000 stadium with the option to expand to 41,000.
We’ve all lived here long enough to know that state projects never get second helpings.
Always order the regular plate, not the mini. You can always take home the rest.
Yup, better than the Cotton Bowl. Hold on tight to that accolade.
Just don’t even try to justify “one of the best” menus, or the wonderful scoreboard, or anything else.
Only thing left now, you gotta try to claim this was all an April Fools joke.
The Ancient Romans had better engineers than we have today. The Pantheon in Rome is 2,000 years old you can walk though it and it looks like it was built yesterday. It is a massive structure built to last out of Roman concrete that will outlast any concrete used today– a lost formula that has yet to be matched.
I do appreciate it if you agree that the menu selection at Aloha Stadium should be better, and there should be a nice “football museum” also to draw in more fan interest. Have a highlight room, showing the best of local high school football in the last week. That can get the UH fans talking about the local high school players, which is a great thing.
If high school players see how much they could mean to UH fans, that would help keep them here.
At the least, a museum could ease traffic via people checking the place out, rather than rushing to the exits like they do now. But also think about if the place served good food, and you could talk live with other UH fans while watching football highlights on video. Gotta get the fans out of their living rooms and into the stadium.
Spring Practice Dates/Times
Saturday, April 4 10:30 a.m.
Monday, April 6 7:05 a.m.
Thursday, April 9 7:05 a.m.
Saturday, April 11 10:30 a.m. – Junior Day
Monday, April 13 7:05 a.m.
Tuesday, April 14 7:05 a.m.
Thursday, April 16 7:05 a.m.
Saturday, April 18 10:30 a.m. – Coaches Clinic
Monday, April 20 7:05 a.m.
Thursday, April 23 7:05 a.m.
Saturday, April 25 10:30 a.m.
Monday, April 27 7:05 a.m.
Tuesday, April 28 7:05 a.m.
Thursday, April 30 7:05 a.m.
Saturday, May 2 TBA – Spring Fling
If they were to rebuild Aloha Stadium, where would be the next biggest field to play for a couple seasons on Oahu that can hold at least 20k plus?
Got to play one of the last regular season high school games in the old stadium and The very first high school game ever in Aloha stadium. Astro Turf rug burns …..ouch!
got to see Pele at Aloha.
Hey man eating apple. Unless you got the money or ideas on how to change things you’re just being a whiner or ignorant. How many stadiums have you been to and how were they any better. Sure Aloha is old but as a fan since the stadium opened I absolutely love the place. I’ve been to the Coliseum, Nebraska, Boise, Superdome, and they all have problems that Aloha doesn’t. I sit in the orange section 19 rows up and around the 35-40 yard line. The seats are comfortable and the view is as good as it gets in a large stadium. Any stadium with bench seating is way outdated in my book. You want better seats pay for it. Now I’ve been to the stadium that the Padres play in and that is simply beautiful but it’s paid for with pro and city money and the pro fans demand more. But as a football fan who goes to high school and UH games on a weekly basis I have no complaints. Especially when my parking is five minutes from my UH seats. On and off to the H-3 makes my commute super easy. A friend took me to a Kansas City Chiefs game and the parking was ten miles away and cost around $50.00 per game. Oh and the new Seattle stadium is very impressive too but again it’s a pro venue.
Been to the Louisiana’s Super Dome when UH played. Was so uncomfortable w/ skinny seats & even more skinny aisles. Had to sit sideways ’cause no legroom. Stood up most of the time.
Aloha Stadium 100 times more comfortable. Lucky we live Hawaii (except for the traffic). Just fix up the place (& the zipper machine too).
Where the Seahawks play is a really nice venue. Looks like a high school stadium, very intimate, good beer and food, close to transportation…
Aloha Stadium has 50,000 real, theater-style chair-back seats. Think about that. FIFTY THOUSAND of them! Many of which have been replaced in just the past three or four years. I’m not aware of any other college football team in the country that plays in a stadium where all of the seats are theater-style, except for teams that borrow pro stadiums. Even the newest “state of the art” college stadiums are full of bleacher seats, with chair-back seats limited to the most expensive sections where fans are charged a premium for their use. We all take those comfortable seats for granted and I guarantee we’ll miss them plenty if a new stadium is built with bleacher seating.
Here are some pictures of Husky Stadium on the University of Washington campus after the $280 million renovation completed in 2013:
That little area of blue is the chair-back seating. The rest is a combination of bleachers with backs and bleachers without backs. Would you like to sit in those seats for four hours, or these:
Yup Shadow. That was my complaint too. Went to the Sugar Bowl and couldn’t believe how small the seats were. Try Boise. Small areas marked off on bench seating and with everyone wearing layers of clothing including thick jackets everyone is sitting shoulder to shoulder. And then you have to pay $5 to rent a seat with a backrest that is hooked onto the benches. Makes one really appreciate Aloha. But you have to experience what’s out there. I much rather have comfortable seating than bells and whistles which people complain about not having.
Yup Superdome seats were smaller but at least they were seats. Oregon’s Autzen Stadium is all aluminum bench seating. Good luck if you’re next to big people. Gets kinda too cozy! Hehe
The arraignment of the rows at the superdome felt really steep too. Felt like if I lost my balance, it would be a far fall down lol
we were 7 rows from the TOP and it was STEEP climbing the stairs – we had to push on the okole of person in front of us, lot of gigis and bachans, to make it to our seats – could not lean forward as this would cause us to lose our balance and fall into the row ahead of us!
players looked like ants on the field.
yes, there are many things that could be better at Aloha Stadium – especially with the security guards and most important the FOOD – authority should consider getting a new vendor – say, like the one as COSTCO – $1.50 for a large hot dog with a medium drink or hot turkey sandwiches or pizza – vendor could add another $1 to each menu item and it still would CHEAP!!!!!
I guess Aloha Stadium is a good place for those that go there regularly and have seen other stadiums.
Yes, great memories at Aloha Stadium – Pro-bowl, UH Football games, high school football games, concerts, high school graduations, etc. etc. etc. Used to like the nachos with cheese and the garlic fries!!
#22. ST. Howard Egami passed away a few years back. He went to all the UH football games and some baseball games. He never needed a ticket. The ushers would wave him through. I gave him a ride home after the football game for years.
He’s was the only adult I knew who said he never rode on an airplane.
# 36 Prong, fill me in on the first high school football game played there. Was it in 1975 or 76? We also played there in 1976 and was thinking it was the 1st HS school game there, I could be wrong, my memory has faded.
ST (*19) … The best part about “The Old Termite Palace” was right across the street … Chunky’s Drive Inn; at the time the best plate lunches in town !!!!!
The layout design of Aloha Stadium is great. It was not built to last forever, though. It has reached the point where it cannot be economically maintained from a structural and safety standpoint. The repairs done to date do not stop deterioration from water intrusion– a serious problem for any structure, particularly for one like Aloha Stadium which is open to the elements. We need to turn our attention to building a new stadium just as good in layout and function.
Good cheeseburgers at Chunky’s and plate lunches .
I always thought Ronnie Bond was a great name for a running back.
Aloha has its good and bad points. But you can’t deny the place is full of great memories and was a point of pride for our state when it opened. If there is a need to build new, it should be at the current site. And, let us be very careful about the size and the design.
50.—What happened to the weathering steel that was supposed to decrease maintenance costs ?
aloha everyone !! BIG NEWS OUT OF ESPN JUST KNOW HAWAII FOOTBALL COACH NORM CHOW STEPS DOWN !!!
DUE TO GOOD CHANCE OF A WINNING SEASON !!
HAPPY ARPIL FOOLS EVERYONE !! AND BEST LUCK UH FOOTBALL AND MR CHOW !!
Everyone’s complaints about about the stadium is from the fans view, how about the players view. Are the player accommodations sub par? Would the teams be better equipped in the locker rooms? Would high school players feel a greater sense of pride and want to stay home and play in the new stadium?
Hit man… that is a good one…only problem…is…many on here wish it was a true… n if not this year….next year 4 sure…lol lol
Tony Gwynn played there.
ESPN revamped their website for no good reason.
It was very user-friendly.
Please respond if you think it’s an improvement.
Warbow: I think it was august/sept 75, Iolani Damien afternoon game. St louis played after us. Dont know who they played. Saw a tv special on Aloha Stadium that confirmed it. You a Monarch?
The mens room is the only good thing about that crappy stadium. I remember the good old days when the stadium was packed and at halftime you walked up to 15 feet of top quality stainless steel urinal. They don’t make um like that anymore. While the girlie man waited for a stall, the real men stood 10 abreast, 10 deep with no stage fright and watched this combined urine river flowing by.
Chunkys beef cutlet,………..Mmmmm
WarBow #14 Well tell the truth, you no can climb the wall anymore because you one old dakine like me.
3-Prong — you making me hungry. Agreed… Chunky’s beef cutlet at night and Graces Lunch Wagon at noon.
I used to bypass Chunky’s and dig straight to Charlie’s Tavern after the games so I could get a good seat before it got packed. Good crowd! Good fun!
On another subject, are there any facts to back up the the statement about “water intrusion ” ongoing at the stadium?
I think you win for today’s best description.
#65 – I second that. You can almost smell the shi-shi!
And let us not forget the community sinks at Aloha.
Just tax payers. Present our ideas. Maybe you can call the local politicians? What for they have no ideas? This is the right scenario. The job fair or career expo was today. Who paid for it? Tax payers. Just a part of a larger system. Really fun stuff economics. Sounds right to me.
yea me agree …win…today…mr. chow’s mantra…lol lol…
oldtimer, na I still get’um. No problem with the wall. If I have to run from the Seucirty guard, I can do that do.. 🙂
Yeah. About that urinal trough at Aloha, mytake. I’d wait for a toilet, and it wasn’t because I was a girlie man, had stage fright or was shy. I was thinking about the other guys. I mean, if they happened to catch a glimpse of my hammer, they’d be plagued with insecurity the rest of their lives. I always look out for my fellow man.
Great Afternoon All!
got traffic? 👿
Aloha stadium,in my opinion, is one if the best stadiums ever built. Definitely in the top 50 nationally past or present. I have been to a few stadiums on the mainland and I think the architecture was ahead if it’s time. It showcases the surrounding outside of the stadium perfectly, which all great stadiums have,. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s bad (Bears still play at Soldier field). Its a good thing it’s made out of steel also than concrete because concrete would be a nightmare to deconstruct.
Bring back the stock cars races. Remember Cherry Nose.
Yeah urine flowing and on the floor which was asphalt.
And Chunkys. Hard to pass without stopping by.
How come today’s traffic is a learning experience for our governor? Is he FOB?
Seems like everyone is learning. I guess no one really knows anything.
48/59: So what warbow, you gone leave me hangin? We played in that game together or did you “misremember”. Astro Turf felt like a thin rug stretched over concrete. No such thing as rrubber pellets with the current Field Turf back then.
Why don’t we just test to see if a protective layer of rust forms and not spend the 200 mill….Hehe
Am I the only one who flushes the urinal at Aloha Stadium.
Whether the right answer is maintaining Aloha Stadium or building a new one, the primary purpose of the exercise should to provide enjoyable experiences to sports fans in Hawaii. Instead of focusing just on a few “stakeholders”, UH Athletics and the Aloha Stadium planners should be polling students and season ticket holders. For me, the priorities are:
1) Maintaining the individual chair-type seat of Aloha Stadium.
2) Maintaining the size of Aloha Stadium; we should also be expanding the student section to include better seating since they are future season ticket holders.
3) Maintaining the season ticket cost of Aloha Stadium.
4) Maintaining the parking availability and cost of Aloha Stadium.
What stands out for me in the descriptions of the contracted reports and consultant plans are luxury items that are too expensive for the average fan. Luxury boxes and a mall full of designer stores and high end restaurants are not within reach of the average fan … though they do make very pretty pictures for reports and present an pleasant illusion of wealth that is not well reflected by income and tax receipts.
THE ENINEER LIED ABOUT THE RUST. ANY HIGH SCHOOL CHEMISTRY TEACHER KNOWS. RUST DOES NOT FORM AN IMPERVIOUS PROTECTIVE COATING ON IRON; IRON JUST KEEPS ON DETERIORATING TO BECOME ALL RUST. AND WHO WERE THE IDIOTS WHO BELIEVED HIM?
There’s this guy at work who doesn’t flush the urinal.
I always tell him: “What’s wrong with you? We’re not at a public park.”
Next time I’ll tell him: “What?” We’re not at Aloha Stadium.”
get some guys in our office that do not wash hands after using # 1 or #2!!!
yikes, so I always wipe my hands and use the hand towels to open the door
Anyone else watch home games on top deck.
I take my nephew up there.
Once during one of the games and boy I almost lost it the railing was wobbly so I went back down to lower level.
Very scary especially with Young ones around.
The yellow section upper deck at Aloha Stadium is still way better (better view, more spacious concourse area, and not as steep) compared to the upper deck at Qualcomm (formerly Jack Murphy) Stadium.
Wow, no April Fools Joke folks, UH reschedules the Wisconsin game
# 78 Chunky’s was good. They had a ribeye steak for less than $3 bucks. Also, Golden Duck was good! My ex was 5′ 5″ and 104 but went to 125+ lbs in about a year going to Chunky’s and Golden Duck! I went to 188 from 168. Then we broke up, too much food! Also, Aloha Stadium’s trough made u freeze up sometimes, was shame!
#71, Manoa Mist, you also had to watch out what kind of “guys” was checking you out. lol.
I also miss the Porky Boys from Jolly Rodgers. Not too many places even do a pork sandwich now days.
Z — I have not seen “FOB” in this context for many years. You might be as old as us… 🙂
the blogs had a pissy theme today. Hopefully we have a more meaningful subject tomorrow……………………
what about if they was to fix or remake aloha Stadium with metal again to save money but spay it with a coating of something like linex !! metal witch is not open to air that means no rust !!
OOPS, IN #78, I MEANT “ENGINEER” VS. ENINEER; I ALSO MEANT DA GUY PROBABLY LIES ALL THE TIME.
Hahah–Chunkys—the thing I remember was all the cards of the “social clubs” up on the board—remember those—ahhhh-“Precious and Few”
Concrete (reinforced) is still used today -the Sydney Opera House and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai are prime examples. The Ingalis Building in Cincinnati still stands – the first skyscrasper built with reinforced concrete. And yes, the Pantheon still stands today..
The Burj Khalifas is still the world’s highest building (unless the Chinese have finished its building in Shanghai) and nothing is wrong with a concrete stadium except architects are always fooling around with different concepts like weasthering explosed steel beams.
Windering if concrete casements around those steel beams in Aloha Stadium would work – STRETCH, where are you when we need engineering advice? :-).
And re: #92, why isn’t my spell check working?
#-Prong…..Sorry to let you hang but the game I remember was in 1976, we played Waianae at Aloha and lost because we had a TD called back in the 4th Qrt. Many old time great played in that one. The Moody brothers (all 3) and both Apuna brothers.
Warbow–so you one Waipahu guy??! If so, you guys had one really mean sole OT, I think he played offensive tackle, but could have been guard.—And Andrew was my mentor for drinking at Mooses back in the day….
Guud Morning Tsaikos…bootiful day.
Akamai, thanks for the link. Miss seeing the guy….Peanuts!
Steel will rust no matter how you try to protect it. Me thinks it’s all in the grade of the steel. Like anything else, you get what you pay for. Me thinks the grade of steel for Aloha was poor to begin with.
Anything less than 50,000 seats would be folly. You can accommodate less than but not more than. Like a wise man stated, “you can take home the left overs”…
Another creative blog story by you ST. Thanks.
What’s up for today?
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