Aloha Stadium, which has been the home of the University of Hawaii football team since 1975, will not be their home any longer. On Thursday, Aloha Stadium announced that it is ceasing operations indefinitely for fan-attended events.
"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."
According to KHON2, Aloha Stadium is facing condemnation and labeled as unsafe to hold any crowds.
"The Stadium Authority has been clear the moratorium on new events within the stadium bowl are not related to structural issues," Aloha Stadium officials told KHON2. "Rather, this difficult decision has been made due to economic conditions stemming from COVID-19 safety restrictions as noted in the release."
The Aloha Stadium Authority revealed that the closure was due to financial issues, which were brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent years, Aloha Stadium has had maintenance issues.
According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the stadium is in need of an estimated $30 million for repairs.
The University of Hawaii did have money set aside to build a new stadium, but it isn't set to open until 2023. Hawaii's 2020 regular is over and the team will play in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 24. However, Hawaii will have find a new stadium to call home for the next two seasons while the new stadium is built and that stadium has to seat a minimum of 15,000 people, per NCAA FBS regulations.
Aloha Stadium has been more than the home of the Warriors' football team over the years. The NFL held its annual Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium from 1980 to 2009, 2011 to 2014, and 2016. The Pro Bowl has been held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando for the last four years.
In addition, the Hula Bowl will still be played on Jan. 31, but no fans will be in attendance.