No swap meet on UH football game days!

HA Note: “As part of its request for proposal, the Aloha Stadium Authority asked prospective bidders to “take into consideration” vacating the stadium on UH game days, according to Kevin Chong Kee, authority chairman. The Warriors will have six regular-season Saturday home games. UH’s season-opener against Central Arkansas is on a Friday. Chong Kee said the contractor, subject to negotiation, could be given other dates to replace those made exclusive to UH football.

The swap meet is billed as “Hawai’i’s largest open air flea market” on the stadium Web site. More than 600 merchants take part. Swap meets are held Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Saturday hours have been from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., although they have been modified for UH football Saturdays.”

JD was able to get the swap meet canceled for the day of the Hawaii Bowl and he said that a similar plan for UH game days has been:
“discussed with (the stadium) on several occasions.” (HA)

HA Note: “Previously, swap meets have been suspended during the Pro Bowl.”

About the importance of not having the swap meet on UH game days, JD said:
“I think the biggest impact is on the traffic on game days. It allows for the possibility that the parking lot might be opened a little earlier. I don’t know if it will be; that’s really a stadium decision. But it would allow for that.

One of the biggest problems is you’ve got all those people outside to come in when the parking gates open … and you’ve got all the customers and vendors from the swap meet trying to exit before that same time. You’ve got a tremendous amount of traffic being dumped into the streets around the stadium, right near the gates opening for UH parking. So that would be completely eliminated, and should have a positive impact on the traffic and parking situation overall.” (HSB)

About how UH could have earlier kickoff times for some games, JD said:
“For the people not sitting under cover, it can get pretty hot. All things being equal, we’ll probably leave the times where they’re at for now. It would probably be something for a follow-on season. My gut reaction right now would be if there are no swap meets on game days, likely the game times will be the same this year. But it’s something we could take a look at.” (HSB)

About not having swap meets on Saturdays on a trial basis, Klompus said:
“We want to see how it works out. We want to see whatever else can be done. We certainly don’t want to take away anything from the swap. We were trying to balance both.” (HSB)

Ferd wrote: “Authority chairman Kevin Chong Kee has brought a can-do attitude to the facility. So, too, has stadium manager Scott Chan, who once played on its turf as a Kaiser High quarterback. Both — and the folks around them — have been willing to not only listen to UH’s concerns but go the extra mile in attempting to address them.

Likewise UH athletic director Jim Donovan has approached the situation with a more constructive and less combative presence that hasn’t always been seen from his office.

Working together there’s no reason why both the stadium and UH can’t be successful. It all comes down to making “Aloha” more than just the name on the sign out front.” (HA)


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