As state prepares to build new stadium, thousands flock to bid ‘aloha’ to the old one

After 47 years of memories fans are enjoying one last hurrah Saturday and some are even taking home pieces of history.
Published: Feb. 25, 2023 at 7:08 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After 47 years of memories, fans enjoyed one last hurrah at Aloha Stadium on Saturday — and some even took home pieces of history.

Norris Birdsong, former UH running back from the 1975 team, was one of the thousands of people who flocked to the field as part of a farewell to the stadium event.

“I really wish they could have just remodeled this stadium and kept it for the history, you know,” said Birdsong.

He soaked up every second with his son.

“He used to tell me like when he used to play here, and it’s just cool that I actually get to be out here with him on the field,” said Norris Shaun Birdsong.

The goodbye event will feature games, food and good music.

At the event, kids also got to live the game day experience.

In the halls leading up to the field, people checked out memorabilia from Pro Bowls, concerts, UH football games and even newspaper articles featuring high school sports.

Uniforms worn by Colt Brennan and Timmy Chang were also on display in the locker room.

For Kalani High friends Paul Naki and Darren Fong, it was a nostalgic moment.

“I remember when it was brand new, sitting in those seats as a high schooler watching the football game [and] cheerleaders,” said Naki.

“There was a time where we could bring in our backpacks, we would sneak in on our food so we didn’t have to pay,” said Fong.

Some people even brought home a piece of Aloha Stadium by purchasing the back of the seats.

“And of course, get a piece of history,” said Fong.

“I needed to have something, you can have the whole seat, but I can’t anchor it to my house,” said Clinton Ogata, of Moanalua.

“So, they’re going to have to get pinned up against the wall somewhere.”

Now it’s time to make way for a new stadium.

The state hopes to open one by 2027 with shops, hotels and entertainment venues to add to the development over 20 years.

“I just hope the new stadium gives us as many great memories as the previous one did with comfortable seats and leg room,” said Ogata.

“I would just like to see a new home for the Hawaii people and for visitors so that we can all come together [and] have fun again,” said Naki.