The Stadium’s Lousy Logistics

Bobby Curran
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Friday - December 08, 2006
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It was a tremendous sight to behold. A sold-out Aloha Stadium for the University of Hawaii’s final regular season game against Oregon State. Great energy, terrific buzz, and two excellent and evenly matched teams.

Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? And it would have been, if not for unbearable traffic. Many people had horror stories about getting to the stadium. I was 2 hours 35 minutes coming in from Hawaii Kai, and the last hour and 15 minutes was spent after getting off the H-1 at the stadium exit.

This has gone beyond the beyond. If they can get 92,000-plus into Bryant Denny Stadium at the University of Alabama without a parking lot, surely we can do a better job here. There needs to be better coordination between HPD and the stadium folks. People need to be steered away earlier from filled lots and directed to alternate parking sites.

This is not rocket science. I fear that if something doesn’t improve the traffic/parking situation soon, sell-outs may become a thing of the past. I asked myself if I would endure this for any reason except work, and had to face the answer: No, I would not.

The sad thing is that this is eminently fixable.

Once the logistical problems were overcome however, fans were treated to an outstanding football game, played with passion by both sides. In some ways, this was a battle for the hearts and minds of Hawaii’s youth. No Mainland school currently recruits Hawaii more ferociously than Oregon State; there are 11 Hawaii players on the Beavers’ roster.

In some ways Oregon State offers Hawaii athletes a sort of family feeling, which has been the attraction for athletes to the UH program. In fact, Sunday’s football team banquet brought home the strength of the Warriors ohana. The best teams have one thing in common: They play for each other first and foremost. I talked to any number of players at the banquet and heard the same things over and over again. It made you feel that this is a special group that completely embraced the team concept.

And, yes, the team has garnered a measure of national respect. Despite the loss to OSU, Hawaii dropped only four spots in both major polls, which means if the Warriors can beat Arizona State on Christmas Eve, they have an excellent chance to finish in the Top 25 in the season’s final polls.

For these Warrior seniors, it would be fitting that they get one more chance to play in front of a full stadium and leave on a winning note.

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