There's excitement surrounding any University of Hawaii football season home opener. But this year, transportation officials also tried to alleviate any possible gridiron gridlock for fans headed to Aloha Stadium.
Some 22,000 fans were expected for the game between UH and Tennessee-Martin, and those fans would encounter rail construction around Aloha Stadium that didn't exist last year.
HART said it would make sure that at least two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane would be open on Kamehameha Highway west of the stadium to alleviate traffic. It also said there would be more police officers to help control traffic. They were visible at all the entrances to the stadium.
Fans and season ticket holders said they could tell the difference.
"Yeah, it was really smooth, everyone was coming in smoothly. No problems," said Nick Cody.
"Not a problem," said another season-ticket holder, Joe Trehern. "I just texted my son and told him to come on down, no parking problems."
"Usually sometimes we come in earlier, but this year we came in at quarter to three. And there was no more traffic," said Gloria Sato.
Fans who aren't season ticket holders could only enter through Gate 3, across from Ice Palace. Some fans didn't know about the change, and were turned away from other gates. At Gate 3, there are only four entrance lanes, but Aloha Stadium officials doubled up on cashiers -- two for each lane -- to get more cars in faster.
Once they were in, fans could finally bust out the barbecues and beverages and look forward to the new season under new head coach Nick Rolovich.
"I like Rolo, I think he'll do great," said Cody. "I hope we do great. And I'm looking forward to the season."
Sato summed it up by saying, "We want them to win!"