New UH Football Stadium Site Ideas
I was mildly amused and yet somewhat fascinated by the recent news article and immediate uproar about the University of Hawaii asking for funding for a study of planning and building its own 30,000-seat football stadium.
I thought the timing was especially interesting, considering that April Fools Day is right around the corner.
With that date in mind, my football fan friend Yadsloof Lirpa wanted to help push this project further along toward its appropriate end.
Here are Yadsloof’s 10 recommendations for a site that might not cost much at all:
1) Waikiki Natatorium: Some of the seating area is already built, and you’d just have to roll out one of those artificial turf thingies over the pool area. Sure, players might get a little wet when they get bumped out of bounds on the makai side of the field, but just think of the attendance numbers you could report with all the folks lying around on the beach?
2) Diamond Head Crater: Yes, the ingress and egress of traffic would be rough, but the bowl-shaped viewing area would be perfect. Didn’t they have huge rock concerts here back in the ’70s? And imagine the delight of the television production crew filming scenic overhead shots with the announcers intoning, “From inside one of the world’s most beautiful scenic backdrops, it’s college football on ESPN.”
3) Wilhelmina Rise: This is a competitive advantage idea, Yadsloof says. Hawaii could recruit players who can run really fast downhill, but who are powerful and strong enough to handle the uphill climb when the ball reverses direction at the end of each quarter. Bring your folding chairs to sit out on the neighborhood lawns.
4) Sandy Beach: You’d have to move the kite fliers, but Yadsloof is sure they wouldn’t mind giving up every other Saturday in the fall. He also says the opposing team would no doubt be distracted by the crashing surf.
5) Sands of Lanikai: Hawaii’s prettiest beach with turquoise waters, coral white sand, two beautiful islands offshore and a shameless plug for this columnist’s first novel.
6) Kaneohe Bay Sandbar: Yadsloof says they’ve been looking for ways to keep those drinking parties out of the bay. Just make it a football party. Tides could be a little dicey, but just think of your favorite Rainbow Warrior sloshing his way for the winning touchdown.
7) Kualoa Ranch: Plenty of flat land below the cliffs, although it might be tough for players to dodge the tourist buses.
8) Pipeline: North Shore’s most famous surf spot. Maybe the Beach Boys could perform at halftime?
9) Mokuleia Polo Fields: If the polo ponies can handle it, why can’t Mountain West Conference football stars? 10) Ford Island Pearl Harbor: Surely, Yadsloof says, we could get some federal funding with this site, along with a built-in fan base. Invite Navy, Army and the Air Force Academy each year, and we’d have a made-for-TV extravaganza.
And one more: No. 11, since, after all, this is a football story, Yadsloof says. How about taking all the money that would be used to study, plan and build a new smaller stadium and using it instead to beef up the current program, so that the team starts winning again and the fans return to Aloha Stadium?
Yadsloof Lirpa ain’t no fool.