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A step toward normalcy: UH fans excited to be back in the stands with no capacity restrictions

Published: Nov. 6, 2021 at 6:51 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 6, 2021 at 6:54 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Now that the University of Hawaii’s T.C. Ching Field can operate at full capacity, many people were excited for Saturday’s football game — especially students who were ready to cheer on their ‘Bows.

“I’m honestly super excited,” said UH Manoa Student, Natalia Schneider. “So, I was able to go to the first game, which was cool. But I was super sad, because I was the only one out of my friend group that got a ticket.”

Only 100 students were allowed at the last home game.

But this time their section can be at full capacity.

“Everybody being able to go is super cool to me,” said Schneider.

It will be the first UH football game for many students like Daria Monkus, who was looking forward to finally have a more traditional football college experience.

“I’m excited. I think it means that we’re going in the right direction, hopefully as a school and a community,” said Monkus.

“I’m ready to just go to a football game. Have some fun, get a little crazy, you know, for UH Manoa.”

“It’s on campus and all the more now, I’m hoping that tonight, we’ll see more students there that we typically used to see at Aloha Stadium,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi.

Blangiardi said he is excited for everyone.

“I’m excited about it, it’s been a long time,” said Blangiardi. “I’m tired of watching stadiums on the mainland packed. It’s about time we packed our own stadium.”

Meanwhile, nearby businesses are also happy about the surge in fans.

Before the pandemic, Pagoda Floating Restaurant and Catering became a vendor at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, but COVID put their concession plans on hold for UH games.

Now that UH football games can have up to 9,000 people in the stadium, Pagoda’s and the Japanese Cultural Center are offering parking, bentos and water as well as a complimentary copy of legendary UH Coach Dick Torney’s book.

“I was there during the opening where 1,000 people could be there, so it was fun,” said John Teruya, general manager of Pagoda Floating Restaurant. “I enjoyed it, it was really easy to download the app, and you have the vaccination.”

“Parking it was convenient because there were less people so hopefully again, our idea of making it convenient and easy for everybody,” Teruya added.

About 25 bentos were pre-ordered and 12 stalls reserved.

“So hopefully this is a start, and we have November 20 which is the next or last game also,” said Teruya. “So we’ll see what happens.”

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