Swap Meet vendors want to play again on UH game days - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Swap Meet vendors want to play again on UH game days

Tom Cooney Tom Cooney
Jim Cablay Jim Cablay
Jim Donovan Jim Donovan

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "This is where we set up," said Jessie Torres, standing in the middle of two parking stalls he rents from Aloha Stadium.

He earns his income as a swap meet vendor. He has a web site for his company, Hawaiian Quilt Wholesale, but he said his best results come at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet during football season.

"We make the majority of our revenue in those time frames; October, November, December," he said.

But last year Centerplate, the contractor that manages the stadium's swap meet, closed it on Saturdays when UH played home games, saying the old way wasn't working..

"Centerplate had a lot of difficulties getting out the vendors and the buyers from the parking area," swap meet manager Davy Maruyama said..

On Thursday, Maruyama told the Stadium Authority board that without swap meet vendors on the lot, traffic flow and parking improved on game days.and the stadium saved money on staffing and maintenance costs.

"We strongly believe that not having a swap meet had a very positive impact on traffic and parking for our event," UH athletic director Jim Donovan said..

But vendors vented their frustration at the possibility they'll be locked out again this season.

"I do not give a damn that the parking was easier to come in and out of here. I don't. All I care is when I reach in my pocket I can pay my bills," vendor Jim Cablay said.

Vendors said even though UH is Aloha Stadium's primary tenant the swap meet brings in sixty percent of its annual income.

"I just don't understand the logic of whoever made that decision to shut us down," Torres said.

He said some vendors couldn't survive the lost revenue last season and left.

UH hasn't finalized its 2010 football schedule, but most likely the Warriors will play six home games on Saturdays.

Torres said unless vendors get the days back, he'll have six more days when his swap meet sales will add up to a big zero.

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