The University of Hawaii has found itself without a stadium after Aloha Stadium Authority on Thursday said it was ceasing fan-attended operations indefinitely at Aloha Stadium.
Until the university’s new stadium is built, Hawaii will be temporarily without a place to play football.
“We are beyond disappointed of the news at today’s announcement from the Aloha Stadium Authority that there will be no further events in the current stadium with fans,” Hawaii athletic director David Matlin said in a statement. “Aloha Stadium has such a storied history and carries so many memories for our football program and generations of Hawaii families. We must now take responsibility ourselves to find a suitable venue for our Rainbow Warriors, Hawaii’s football team, to play in front of our loyal fans beginning in 2021.”
Aloha Stadium Authority said the closure was in part due to financial issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The stadium, which was built in 1975 and was a former NFL Pro Bowl site, needed extensive maintenance that could have totaled $30 million.
The stadium was deemed unsafe to hold fans and was facing condemnation, according to KHON2.
The new Aloha Stadium, which is expected to hold anywhere from 30,000 to 35,000 fans, is not projected to be ready until 2023 at the earliest. According to KHON2 no other stadium on Oahu is close to the 15,000-seat quota. Clarence T.C. Ching Stadium on the UH-Manoa campus currently holds under 5,000 fans.
Aloha Stadium will continue to hold previously scheduled events, such as the Hula Bowl on Jan. 30, 2021, but fans will not be permitted. Other previously scheduled events are planned to proceed, such as the drive-through Christmas display and Swap Meet & Marketplace. With no new events planned beyond that.