Bruno, Cardi B and monster trucks: It was a banner year for Aloha Stadium (and its coffers)

Thousands raved about Mars' finale of his 24K Magic World Tour. (Image: Jen M.)
Thousands raved about Mars' finale of his 24K Magic World Tour. (Image: Jen M.)(Jen M.)
Updated: May. 31, 2019 at 11:06 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - There are mainstay events at Aloha Stadium — like the 50th State Fair during the summer and the swap meet.

But an influx of many different events have boosted the bottom line this fiscal year.

The stadium authority is expecting a profit of $2.6 million for the fiscal year that will end on June 30. That’s far more than the $532,000 profit last fiscal year.

Among the money-makers — three sold out concerts by hometown boy Bruno Mars. Add to that other concerts by Eminem, Guns N’ Roses, Eagles, and Snoop Dog and Cardi B.

“Going to the Snoop Dog concert was pretty much fun," said Brandon Debebar, who was back at the stadium to attend the fair with his family. “That’s a legend you don’t get to see every time.”

And it wasn’t just concerts.

“A few weeks ago we had that monster truck rally, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big motor sports fan, but apparently there are a lot of motor sports fans here,” said state Sen. Glenn Wakai.

"Forty-two thousand people went there. I mean, by far that was bigger than Bruno Mars. That was bigger than what the U.H. football could pull in last year.”

“It was packed floor to ceiling,” said Lorraine Bittner, who was among those 42,000 fans. “And then they had the following weekend the motocross, ad we unfortunately didn’t know about it until it was too late. Otherwise we would’ve been there for that too. I bet that was also very popular.”

Adding to the revenues, big leaps in parking fees collected — up to $14 per vehicle — and food and beverage purchases. Rental revenue alone jumped from $325,000 to an estimated $1.8 million.

Stadium officials say they plan to use the money for operating costs. Taxpayers will still have to foot the bill for repairs and maintenance, which are expected to run anywhere from 20 to 30 million dollars.

In the long term, lawmakers plan to build an entirely new stadium, complete with hotels, restaurants and shops. But for now, a banner year could at least lead ot more big events in the year ahead.

“We have the L.A. Rams coming into town. We have hopefully a better U.H. football season. And hopefully we have even more concerts,” said Wakai. “Once people see that Cardi B, Snoop Dog, the Eagles can draw a crowd, then if you’re Taylor Swift or you’re Beyonce, why not come to Hawaii as well?”

Swift and Beyonce aren’t confirmed. But Wakai, their fans — and the stadium authority — can at least think positive.

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