A New Look At Aloha Stadium
Wednesday - July 28, 2010
There will be a “new” Aloha Stadium when the University of Hawaii football team plays its opener against USC on Thursday, Sept. 2.
Well, kind of.
Let’s just say that there will definitely be a new look to the 35-year-old stadium when Warrior fans show up for the 2010 season opener. The first change you’ll see is the coloring -in fact, you can see it right now as you drive past the stadium on the H-1. Much of the top of Aloha Stadium is now a dark green.
“The color was selected after carefully considering its impact on the surrounding environment, its eye-appeal,and its flexibility to match existing and future color schemes for other components of the stadium,” says state comptroller Russ Saito, who oversees the Aloha Stadium renovation project as the director of the state Department of Accounting and General Services.
“It has the added benefit of being the color of our University of Hawaii teams.”
So UH fans might be green with envy when they walk into the stadium for the first time.
The first change they’ll feel inside is when they walk across the bridges between the south or north end zones and the mauka or makai stands. Remember, how those walkways used to bounce and sway under the weight of several walkers. Apparently, that “it feels like an earth-quake"sensation will be a thing of the past.
“The concourse bridges were stiffened to reduce the vibrations when crowds walked across them,” Saito says.
Once fans get to their seats they’ll soon see the biggest change of all - the Jumbotron is gone!
“The SONY Jumbotron and Daktronics Matrix Board as well as the clock and window have been removed,” says Saito. “The new scoreboard will be a large LED (light emitting diode) screen which will cover the area of the two former screens entirely,” Saito says. “The new video board will have expanded capacity to show in-game statistics, have better clarity and can use the entire screen to show video when the game is not in play.”
The public’s first look at that new video scoreboard is expected to come at the UH football media day in August.
For Saito, who has served in this position for eight years and who may be completing his term as comptroller depending on how the November gubernatorial elections turn out, this project has great personal meaning.
“For me, Aloha Stadium is a great venue. I attend UH games with my wife Irene and two other couples - all long-time season ticket holders. I’ve been attending UH games since I was a student at UH, way back in the Honolulu Stadium ‘Termite Palace’ days,” he says.
The work on the stadium improvement and renovation project has been ongoing since 2008 and will continue for several more years, with its timing based on the release of funds by the legislature and the governor’s office. Saito says he expects the recent improvements should ensure that “the stadium should last at least another 20 years,” he says, followed by another engineering study to determine its life span after that.
This September marks the 35th anniversary of the first-ever game played at Aloha Stadium - a Sept. 13, 1975, date with Hawaii hosting Texas A&M-Kingsville (then Texas A&I).
This September, the opponent will be a much bigger name, but the stadium might feel almost as new.
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