Toyota Event on UH Campus Elicits Mixed Response

Gregg Takayama
Gregg Takayama
Andrew Hodge
Andrew Hodge

MANOA (KHNL) -- A half a million dollars going to the University of Hawaii's athletics department, and a concert featuring legendary rock band Aerosmith this Saturday.

It sounds like a win-win for UH and its students, but it's part of a private event, not extended to members of the campus.

It's a deal brokered between athletic director Herman Frazier and Toyota for its annual dealers meeting. It's a private event, meaning most of the campus will be shut out. Some students don't really care, but others are bummed out they missing out on a great concert.

Already crews are hard at work, in preparation for Saturday's big event. They're transforming this track into an outdoor dining hall.

Some UH students don't seem to mind it all that much.

"I mean, I don't really come here on Saturdays, so it's not a big deal," said Ashley Kirk, a UH junior majoring in communications. "But I guess when they're here, like now, because we're having ballet class in the portable right next to all the machinery and stuff, so it's kind of distracting."

More work has taken place near Les Murakami Stadium.

To make it more convenient for drivers, crew took out speed bumps near the stadium, and most of lower campus will be closed off on Saturday.

School officials said the decision was made with campus safety in mind.

"It's primarily because there's a lot of heavy equipment," said Gregg Takayama, a spokesperson for the University of Hawaii at Manoa. "There'll be buses; more than a hundred of them will be use to transport 6,000 Toyota conventioneers to lower campus facilities."

Besides the inconvenience, other students are bummed out they're shut out from a cool concert.

"It's really nice that they're having conventions on campus, because I'm sure it brings money to the school itself," said Andrew Hodge, a UH senior majoring in business management. "But I feel a little left out seeing how I'm not going to be able to see Aerosmith, and it's in my own backyard seeing I live in Hale Wainani."

Hodge was all set to see Aerosmith on Maui, until they canceled the show.

"Basically I would just like to go, and I would like my friends to be able to see Aerosmith because it's almost a once in a lifetime opportunity for some of us young people," he said.

Still, others say they'll deal with the hassle.

"Whatever outside support we can get for our school, I think it's worth it," said Kirk. "I think UH deserves it."

Once again, it's a private concert, so no tickets will be sold. Access to lower campus will be greatly limited until about 11 pm Saturday night. The good news is those who live in the dorms, could probably hear the concert from their rooms.